Overview Www Benchmark Email
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, 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 team sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of this program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business 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. Www Benchmark Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand 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 bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan 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 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 option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each 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 designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (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 can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply 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 with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Www Benchmark Email
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. When you’ve completed 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 verify everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see 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 was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Www Benchmark Email
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize 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 permits users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images 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 can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Www Benchmark Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each 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 those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each 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” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. 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 in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Www Benchmark Email
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited 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 per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a 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 execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles 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 production strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Www Benchmark Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted a variety of 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 aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some 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 clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you need your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Www Benchmark Email
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the number of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.