Today we will analyze Benchmark Email, one of the leading email marketing platforms available on the market. Since its inception in 2004, this California-based company has grown remarkably.
Today, it is focused on small and medium-sized businesses and a sector you might not have expected: non-profit organizations. Benchmark offers discounts to NGOs, and provides completely free service to associations dedicated to helping children in need. Interesting, isn’t it?
To date, Benchmark has more than 73,000 users from all over the world.
After this brief introduction, let’s look at the main features of Benchmark Email.
Pricing offers a variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a price escalation based on your number of subscribers.
Free Plan Benchmark
Free Plans do not ask for credit card, which is fine.. The only drawback: a small Benchmark logo will be included at the bottom of each email you send. If you want it not to show up, you’ll need to hire a payment plan.
The free plan allows you to send up to 14,000 emails to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers and gives you access to many (not all) features.
If you prefer a payment plan, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Depending on the number of subscribers you have, the price will increase. The minimum price is $13.99 per month for a plan of 600 subscribers, and the maximum price 254,99 $for 50,000 subscribers. They are not very high prices in any case, and all of them have unlimited shipping.
What is the difference between the Premium Plan and the Free Plan?
Several things. In this screenshot from the Benchmark website you can see Premium features:
Beyond these features, there are others common for both plans, such as access to the drag & drop editor, responsive templates, tracking with Google Analytics and many other things.
Where is Benchmark installed
Benchmark works entirely on the web, without the need to install this platform locally.
Ease of use
Benchmark Email is fairly simple to use.
Registering has no mystery. Once you have entered your contact details (name, email, phone number and company) you will have to confirm your email. Having logged in, you can now start working with Benchmark.
Creating email campaigns
When you open Benchmark, the tool will welcome you with a dashboard like the one you see below:
You will see five different sections:
First, before creating your campaign, you will need to create the contact list you want to send your emails to. For that, go to the “Contacts” section. You can create a list in different ways:
Choose the most suitable one based on the number of contacts, the format in which your information is stored, etc. Once you have them imported, name the list and save it. Once you have done this, you will be able to create a new campaign:
To do this, you will need to go to Campaigns > Campaigns section and click on the “Create new campaign” button.
Next, choose the type of campaign you want to create:
And finally, choose how you want to create this email: With drag & drop editor, HTML or just a plain text editor. We go to the simplest and decide on the first option:
Next, you will have to complete several sections, such as the name of this campaign, the sender, the subject line and several other things. These sections are usually common on most email marketing platforms.
Once you have completed them, it will ask you to choose the list of contacts you want to send to (ideally leave it previously created). Once you have chosen it, you will see the drag & drop editor and you can start creating your email.
If you don’t want to do a lot of design work, you can choose one of its templates. They are many and with more than acceptable designs. They will save you time and allow a very professional result without having too much design knowledge.
Easy, isn’t it?
You can send test submissions to your own email to see how it looks. Make sure nothing gets unassembled and everything is optimized for reading on mobile devices. Remember, emails, the shorter and direct, the better.
Once we have this, we proceed to the next step:
Sending your email campaign
When you have created the email and all the data (sender, subject, etc.) reviewed, you will have to choose when it is sent. You can choose to send it immediately, schedule it, or just leave it saved as a draft and send it later.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark offers its users a wealth of support resources. If you go to their help section, you will see three sections:
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions. You can search for questions in their search engine, and see them answered in text article format.
Videos: Similar to the previous point, but in video format.
Webinars: Webinars with a specific date that you can sign up and watch live.
Beyond their Help section, you can contact them via a live chat (yuhu!) and through a traditional form. You also have a phone available to call them (in Spain, it is + 34 91 255 8876).
Besides that, they have a blog in which they give more generic information about email marketing, digital marketing and many other things.
Benchmark Key Features
These are some of Benchmark’s most notable features:
- Video Emails: Perhaps Benchmark’s best-known advantage is its compatibility with video emails.
- Online Surveys: You can create highly professional online surveys using one of Benchmark templates. Publish your survey on your website or create it directly in an email.
- Hundreds of sector-specific thematic templates: Benchmark gives all users access to its library of over 400 templates. They are organized by categories, and some are designed for specific sectors (such as education, retail, etc.).
- Dedicated Server: All Benchmark’s high-volume plans include a dedicated IP address to help improve delivery rates.
- Mobile app: Benchmark offers a mobile app to manage your account from your smartphone.
- Image editing: If the images you are going to use in your emails are not the correct size or need some adjustment, you can use its built-in editor.
- Auto Sending: You can create up to eight custom automatic messages. They can be programmed as a series or with a previous event. These types of emails can be used, for example, to congratulate a user on the birthday.
- Code Editor: If you have HTML code notions, you can build your emails this way.
- API integration: Benchmark API allows you to manage contact lists, manage campaigns, and view contact results.
- Multi-language interface: Benchmark is available in seven languages: Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Email Automation with Benchmark
Automation is one of the main trends in email marketing, and even more in email marketing applied to ecommerce.
As it could not be otherwise, Benchmark Email offers this functionality to its users, with two different functionalities: what they call Automation Pro or through AutoResponds.
You can access it from the “Automations” section of your control panel. Once inside, choose to create a new automation and you are already on the move.
A very positive point is that they already have several workflow templates on which you can rely. So, if you don’t want to create your own event stream from scratch, you can use one already predefined by Benchmark. Here are some of the ones they offer:
Once you choose a template, you will see the editor for creating workflows. In this example, we have chosen a predefined template for creating a workflow to recover abandoned carts. By default, Benchmark offers us the following:
By clicking on each of the steps, you will be able to edit waiting times, the lists that receive it and many other things. Of course, you can edit, delete or make any changes you want.
You can enter this section from the section Automations > Self-Responders.
There are two types of autoresponders:
- Contact-based Autoresponders: They allow you to send welcome emails to your new subscribers or automated emails for birthdays, anniversaries, or reminders based on specific dates.
- Participation-based autoresponders (Premium users only): Allows you to activate automatic emails based on the actions of your subscribers: they have opened an email, clicked the link or took no action.
This image already says enough on its own.
But let’s take a little closer look at this aspect. Some of Benchmark’s most interesting integrations are:
- Salesforce.com: This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use their email marketing system to build loyalty to these customers.
- WordPress: Benchmark offers a WordPress plug in that allows you to easily create an email list from readers of a blog or a website.
- Flickr: Users with Flickr account can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
- Shopify: You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to the lists of this email marketing platform. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on the products you have purchased.
- PayPal: Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their email lists.
- Zapier: The integration options with Zapier are too many for us to name here. With this program, you can integrate with more than 250 services, such as Gmail, Evernote or Facebook.
Conclusion on Benchmark Email
Benchmark is a very valid option for your email marketing campaigns.
It is easy to use, innovative and offers good prices.
Its free options are more than enough for many companies and, in case they fall short, climbing up is quick and easy.
If you are looking for an email marketing platform, this is, without a doubt, one of the best options on the market.