Benchmark Review: Email Marketing
|Sign up for Benchmark|
|Pricey yet high quality service with excellent email editing interface and hundreds of templates to choose from plus 24/7 live chat support|
Benchmark may seem a bit pricey but it is actually a good value thanks to its comprehensive email creation tools and extensive template options. Overall we like their site and find it easy to get used to. Their contact plans start with an allowance of 600 subscribers for $11.95 per month, and all of their contact plans allow you send an unlimited number of emails. Not only is the service intuitive, they also provide 24/7 live assistance. In general, we would recommend this email marketing service to businesses looking to create high quality email campaigns.
Benchmark's site is very clear and uses bold icons throughout. Though there are a lot of different tabs and options, it is very intuitive and all the tools you need are clearly marked. You can set up contacts and lists under the "Lists" tab, create newsletters under the "Emails" tab and view each email's statistics in the "Reports" tab. When adding contacts, users can choose from uploading an Excel document, adding contacts individually and a copy and paste option, helpful especially when you have a mass collection of email addresses. They also have a great system for creating signup forms. You can choose from various templates and color schemes, as well as fill in the text that will show up in the signup form. You can even create and customize an email confirmation sent out to those who sign up for your emails. After creating the signup form Benchmark will give you an HTML code that you can paste right into your website.
To begin creating emails, you must enter a reply address and which list you want to send the email to. Benchmark has an impressive selection of templates to choose from, in fact, it is one of the largest collection of templates we've seen. It costs $299 if you want Benchmark to create a custom template for you. Once you've selected a template, you can begin editing. Benchmark's template editing is super customizable and easy to use. In the editing section, templates are divided into sections that Benchmark refers to as "blocks." Once you click "edit block" in a certain section of the template, an editing toolbar appears for fonts, alignment and other options. You can also choose to add additional elements to each block, including images, videos, links, etc.
You can click "use own HTML" on the side of the template selection page to use your own code. You can easily toggle between the HTML screen and the design screen, using Benchmark's editing tools on the design. When we sent out our email, it appeared in the email client as it did on the design screen. In general, we grant Benchmark 5 out of 5 stars for both their HTML and template editor.
You can view statistics for the last email you sent or compare multiple emails together by going to the "Reports" section. As usual, you can see the number and percentage of clicks, opens, unsubscribes and bounces. Below the interactive pie chart there is a map showing where your readers hail from. There is an option to view the stats in an Excel sheet and PDF as well.
You can contact Benchmark through live chat 24/7, as well as email and phone 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday, and 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST Saturday. We received a response to our email request within half an hour and our live chat was answered fairly quickly, earlier in the day. Our live chat request was not replied to when it was later in the day, even if it was during the business hours we mentioned above. The representatives on live chat and phone were friendly and knowledgable.
Plans and Pricing
Benchmark offers send-based plans, list-based plans and high volume plans. In general, the list-based plans are much more affordable, since with the send-based plan each contact will need one email to be sent to. The list-based plans start at $11.95/month for 600 contacts. Sending to up to 1k contacts per month costs $18.95/month and 2.5k costs $28.95/month. With the list-based plans, there is no limit to how many emails you can send per month.
Benchmark's solid and comprehensive email editor is definitely a good idea for those who want to create some quality emails. Their analytics and customer service are average and in general we like the site. This service is worth checking out the with 30-day free trial.
NextAdvisor Blog Headlines
UPS Security Breach Affects 51 Stores in 24 States
United Parcel Service (UPS) customers might want to check their bank statements after the shipment and logistics company announced that 51 of its U.S. stores located throughout 24 states were breached by malware. UPS said the computer virus was not identified by current antivirus software. UPS customers who used a credit or debit card at one of [...]
What's The Best Web Hosting Service For Small Businesses?
Q: I?m starting a small business and need a website. I?m not familiar with creating a website and I can?t afford to hire someone to make it for me. What should I do? Thanks for your question! Starting a small business takes a considerable amount of work, and sometimes creating a website becomes an afterthought. That [...]
Stay Organized In College With Cloud Storage
Getting organized in college is one of the best ways to maintain good grades. Learning how to stay on top of assignments, take detailed notes and collaborate effectively with others are all necessities to managing collegiate success, but what if we told you there was a tool you could use to streamline all of these [...]
Community Health Systems Breached: 4.5 Million Exposed
Cyberattacks are becoming all too common these days. It seems you can't watch the news without hearing of some major breach. The most recent victim of this crime is Community Health Systems, one of the largest hospital networks in the United States. Community Health Systems said its computer network was hacked in April and June of [...]
Benchmark Forum Posts
- Benchmark Email Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Benchmark Email Marketing: http://www.nextadvisor.com/email_market ... review.php