Updated · Aug 03, 2022
Best for: Automated drip marketing
What Is Benchmark?
Benchmark is an easy-to-use email marketing software for users who want to automate mass email sending campaigns. And it’s free!
From newsletters through invitations to advertisements, anyone can maximize this integrated digital marketing tool for business growth.
It’s great for:
- designing campaigns based on consumer behavior
- increasing brand awareness
- growing your audience through lead generation
- boosting customer engagement
- streamlining the entire customer journey
and most of all, converting leads to sales via marketing automation.
According to many Benchmark reviews, the program has a wide reach, making it a great instrument for large-scale internet marketing. The company is deployed in 15 countries, thus offering multi-language support.
Let’s see if the claims are true.
As an all-rounder, the program offers a slew of email customization, automation, and analytics features. Here they are:
The tool provides a simple interface for creating email campaigns. Upon signing up to your account, just click Create New Email to get started. There are two email formats you can choose from:
- Regular Email - you can send it immediately or schedule it for a future date.
- RSS Email - you can automatically send it when you update your blog or RSS feed
Once you’ve made your pick, you can open up the Benchmark Email Builder, which comes in three variants:
A popular choice for beginners and pros alike, this section is where you can create emails from scratch or tweak your chosen template. The workspace lets you drag-n-drop feature blocks, images, and other editable contents.
You can also use the Benchmark Video option to include a clip in your email. Just upload the video to Youtube, then add it to your gallery. From there, you can insert it by adding the appropriate block.
It would’ve been easier to directly upload the media, but the program doesn’t support it yet.
If you’re a coding whiz and want a more customizable option, this is right up your alley. You can write your own HTML email or get it from another source. The workspace is divided into two sections – one for coding and one for a live preview.
Plain Text Editor
You can use Benchmark for emails without image blocks or formatting options. Messages that include plain text have a higher chance of avoiding anti-spam software.
No design expertise? No problem! Among the most convenient features of Benchmark are its email templates. The library is divided into three selections.
The first features blank layouts and lets you choose your canvas from the pre-formatted pages. Each contains only text and image blocks with no default content.
The second one houses the templates. Here, you can browse through hundreds of pre-designed emails that fit a particular use case. They’re organized by category, so finding one that suits your style is easy. The best part? They all look clean and professional.
The last section is where you can find your past emails. If you have recurring campaigns or emails with the same format, you can re-use your previous ones. And you don’t have to manually save them for later; they’re accessible and instantly editable on the Email Builder.
Did you know that personalized emails can spike up your revenue by up to 760%? It’s one of the most effective marketing techniques!
The thing is, almost every customer prefers receiving tailored content. The trick? Sending mass emails with a personal touch. This is where the Benchmark mailing style comes through.
For one, you can add a primary greeting to your email:
You can also personalize your email dynamically with each recipient’s unique information like contact details, address, etc. Just be sure that your uploaded contacts have these pertinent values in your list.
From there, you can use any field from your email’s connected list, and your recipients’ details will be automatically inserted before you hit Send.
If you need to manipulate your images, Benchmark has a photo editor right in the Email Builder. Just click on the image, hit Edit, and you get an overlay interface that looks like this:
It’s not as fancy as photo editing software like Photoshop, but its tools can still pull off basic photo enhancements. You can crop the image, adjust the color, add effects and filters, stickers, frames, or even captions that go with your photo.
Fair warning, though – the program is a bit stingy on storage space. The Benchmark Image Gallery has a 10 GB storage cap on both the free and paid plan.
You have your emails.
Now, who are you going to send them to?
The Benchmark List Builder is where you can grow your audience. You can grab new contacts by designing a custom Signup Form. You can strategically place it on your website – be it pop-ups, blog sections, and whatnot.
You can also integrate Benchmark signup forms into your social media marketing campaigns for an even greater reach.
If you want to stick to newsletters, you can just design an opt-in email where recipients can subscribe.
If you have existing contacts or a large subscriber database, uploading them is easy! You have four options:
- Manual - add contacts and fill in the information fields one-by-one
- File import - upload all contacts at once from your computer. Note that the file must be in .xls, .csv, or .txt formats.
- Copy/ Paste - add email addresses in bulk, but only 50 at a time.
- Integration - import your contacts from third-party platforms such as Google Contacts, Zoho, Zapier, and other CRM tools.
Another great Benchmark list management feature is Segmentation. You can break down your lists by demographics. If you’re into behavioral targeting, this is a nifty tool that lets you arrange your contacts by customer likes, dislikes, and other actions.
By grouping your lists into market segments, you’ll be able to send relevant content to your subscribers.
A unique feature I’ve found in this tool is its ability to clean your lists. One-click, and you’ll be able to filter out inactive email addresses. The command lets you choose from certain parameters:
After every campaign, Benchmark advises you to clean your contact list. This is a good way to see which subscribers really want to engage with your business.
Also, the more invalid addresses you take out, the higher the chances your email gets delivered.
Benchmark Automation Pro
You can use Benchmark to create drip campaigns – without a stretch.
What are drip campaigns, you ask?
They’re automated emails that recipients get at the right time. Think welcome messages, purchase confirmations, order notifications, etc.
On the dashboard, you can create your own automation schemes and save them as templates for later. Here are some good examples:
- Promote and Target Opens - send a promo email and automatically follow up with subscribers who did or didn’t open the email.
- Abandoned Cart - send an email reminder to users who left items in their cart
- Review Request - ask for a review or testimonial from a recent customer
- Follow-up Series - send automated follow-ups based on the results of a previous campaign
- Facebook Ad Retargeting - instantly add your email subscribers to a specific Facebook Audience based on engagement.
Benchmark sets an automatic trigger for such emails. It’s easy and effective, which is why it’s included in our list of the best autoresponders on the market.
Benchmark Landing Pages
On the same interface, you can create a custom landing page to attract more leads and subscribers. Say you need to make a registration page for an event – you can just head to the Landing Page Builder. No coding is required!
It works virtually the same as the Email Builder, only fewer templates this time around.
You only get six, but they’re versatile enough to fit any use case. And they look pretty darn good. Plus, customizing only takes drag-n-dropping content and image blocks.
Once done, you can set the path by entering your own landing page address.
Polls and Surveys
If you want to do market research or simply increase customer engagement, you can use Benchmark to administer polls and surveys to your subscribers. No need to open up the Email Builder. You can just enter the questions in the provided fields and indicate the type of answer you want from your respondents, like:
- one line
- multiple choice
- descriptive text
and so on!
From there, you can tweak the other default details, including the survey title, intro description, URL, etc.
Want to know which of your emails have the best open rates? Benchmark A/B testing is the key!
This tool lets you test everything about your campaigns – subject, content, time of delivery, you name it. By comparing two or more variables, you’ll be able to identify which campaigns work and which don’t.
This feature, however, isn’t available on the free version.
Benchmark has an email checker that lets you test how your campaigns will appear in a recipient’s inbox. You’re free to preview your email in most web-based email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, etc. You can also check if your email is mobile-responsive by testing it on any mobile device.
Insights and Analytics
Benchmark reports are detailed and easy to digest.
The analytics dashboard displays actionable after post-campaign results like email opens, click-through rate, and customer activity – all in real-time. You can also see the number of email bounces and unsubscribes so you can improve your future campaigns.
Its geo-tracking feature also provides a map highlighting the areas where your subscribers opened your emails.
Additionally, you can see who shared your email campaign on social media along with engagements such as Facebook likes or comments.
By this time, we’ve established that Benchmark has superior email marketing features.
But is it secure?
The program uses SSL encryption for all sensitive information that passes through the website. The company also has an EU-US Privacy Shield and Swiss-US Privacy Shield certifications, which require tight customer data protection measures.
With these safeguards, security is clearly a non-issue.
Additionally, the Pro and Enterprise plans allow users to set a password for downloading contact lists. This is a good measure if you’re working in teams. It reduces the risk of unauthorized users accessing and potentially stealing your consumer base.
Ease of Use and Interface
Benchmark is a web-based tool, making it universally compatible. You can use it on any web browser as long as you have a stable internet connection. While the site is mobile-responsive, you need a computer to use all its tools.
The Benchmark Email Builder has a clean and intuitive interface. The dashboard offers simple navigation with organized sections.
I also loved that upon signing up, I instantly got a step-by-step walkthrough. This allowed me to quickly understand the process and create a complete email campaign from the get-go.
And here’s another beginner-friendly setting. The Email Builder auto-saves your work, so no worries about losing your progress. Additionally, the workspace has a Test menu that provides instant access to useful features like:
- Inbox Checker
- Test Email Sender
- Spam Check
- Print Version view
- Specific Contact
This way, you can run your tests without leaving the editing area.
If you want to unlock the program’s full automation power, you can integrate third-party software. For example, you can pair Benchmark with Google Analytics for more in-depth reporting.
- Zoho CRM
- Acuity Scheduling
and 1500+ more.
During my delivery tests, Benchmark showed moderate spamming, especially for Gmail.
More than half of my advertisement emails went to the Promotions folder instead of the Primary inbox. Some even went straight to spam.
Campaigns sent to Yahoo! email addresses showed better results, though. All my test emails arrived in the main inbox.
Pro tip – use the program’s spam checker to see your email’s chances of getting spammed in decimal value.
I found many Benchmark reviews raving about its customer service quality. The website also brands its support to be of world-class quality, so I decided to experience it myself.
The company offers support only on weekdays. Its representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST.
There are three ways to get in touch – via email, phone, and live chat.
First, I tried reaching out through live chat, and I instantly got a response. The person I talked to was very accommodating and answered all my inquiries promptly.
Next, I tried to send an email ticket with the same inquiries. The results were just as impressive – I received replies within minutes.
They redirected me to their FAQs section, but it was a pretty basic question, so that’s understandable.
Besides, the website’s knowledge base is, indeed, packed with helpful guides. Even without the active customer support, you can easily navigate through the program.
Benchmark Email Pricing
Great news – the program has a free version. It has great functionality, but as with any free solution, you get limited features and email credits.
Now, if you really mean business, getting a premium subscription might be a more suitable option. The price is scalable based on the number of contacts you need to upload to your account.
Starts at $15/month
Includes all Free features plus: unlimited emails/month 500 contacts Benchmark behavior-based emails Landing pages Contact list verification Advanced list segmentation
Benchmark Review - Verdict
If you want an easy and inexpensive email marketing solution, go for this tool.
Its simplistic approach to sending mass emails is reflected in its user-friendly Email Builder and professional-looking templates.
But that’s not all. You can also tap Benchmark to streamline your customer journey. From getting newsletter subscriptions to getting more sales – its auto-responding abilities will help you seal the deal.
The program just falls a bit short on deliverability, especially for Gmail. If most of your target markets are there, the chances of spamming are quite high. Considering the test results for this Benchmark review, the software needs to work on its email delivery.
But in terms of features and automation power, the program has definitely set a high benchmark for the competition.
Nero is an all-around wordsmith with a degree in Communication Arts— not the vicious emperor you might know in history books. He's an avid reader. A frisky writer. A tech enthusiast and occasional binge-watcher. He likes long walks on the beach. Enjoys deep thinking and shallow conversations. Hates ketchup. Panic! At The Disco.
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