Overview Whats A Good 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 team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this 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 personally sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise 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 reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background 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 nearly all its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of 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 specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps 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 with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may 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 string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser has 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. Using the full program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need 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 with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how best to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been prompted 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 once 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 start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed 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 those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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 type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’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 permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts 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 supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts 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 automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to 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, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, 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 the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
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 actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test 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 is 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.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can 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 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’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are 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 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 provide information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance 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 called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also ask for a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, 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 Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive array of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Whats A Good Email Marketing Software
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of emails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid 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 anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the price, offers exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.