Overview Www Passmark
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies 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 advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain 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 worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless 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 like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Www Passmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages 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 without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this role in more detail .
· 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. 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 top right-hand corner. Www Passmark
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally 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 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 wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve finished 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 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 schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different 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 available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Www Passmark
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Www Passmark
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button to 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 readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients 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 security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which 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’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Www Passmark
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 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 the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail 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 even ask for a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel 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 info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts 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 discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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 Passmark
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is 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 including AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling 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 important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials 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 recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive array of paid plans which 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 small Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt 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 provides you access to all 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 get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Www Passmark
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send each 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 per month
o Enormous 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find 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 outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, provides excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.