Summary Which Email Marketing Software
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. 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 expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck 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, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers 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 retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. 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 survey on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Which Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast 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 much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend 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 fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client 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 annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire 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 can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows 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 permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Which Email Marketing Software
From there, you must 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 are 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 alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before distributing your email on 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 really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically 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 fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, 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 further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Which Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, naturally, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows 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 Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Which Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is 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 which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers 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 selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check 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 top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support 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 searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Which Email Marketing Software
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform 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 is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details 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 all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers 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 discuss newsletter creation 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.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Which Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed 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 business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, 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 credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Which Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per 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 credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.