Benchmark Email Marketing Software Review 2019 – Good?

Benchmark Offer a Good & Feature Set. Is it Worth Starting On The Free Service & Upgrading To PRO Later? Is Benchmark Is Right For Your Business?

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
Features
Email Deliverability
Ease of Use
Client Satisfaction (Twitter Sentiment & Trustpilot)
Customer Support, Speed, Availability, Accessibility

Benchmark Email

Benchmark Email: Recommended for Startups Needing A Good Free Service for 2,000 contacts.  The Pro Service is Also Competitively Priced With Innovative Features.

California based Benchmark Email was established in 2004.  They offer a solid set of features for a competitive price.  Neither the price leader or the features leader, Benchmark occupies a place in the industry offering simplicity and value for money.

Benchmark Email Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Free Service for 2,000 contacts✘ Image Storage Costs $5/m
★ Easy to Use Automation Pro✘ Reports of Email Deliverability Issues
★ 24/7 Phone & Chat Support in 9 Languages
★ Good Twitter Sentiment Ratings
Visit Benchmark Email★ Easy Responsive Email Editor

 

The Review Process

I have compared 30 of the most popular email marketing software vendors out of a list of over 100.  We have compared over 80 key feature and benefits to be able to make a solid and fair comparison. In total over 2,400 data points have been compared over our months of testing.  Also, I run multiple businesses which means collecting customer contact information and providing them the right information at the right time is a core part of the service.  For further details on what we tested jump to How We Rated the Service.

Benchmark Email Pricing

There are two types of pricing model in the email marketing industry.

  1. Per Contact Pricing means you are charged for storage of a number of contacts, this model usually includes unlimited email sends.
  2. Per Email Pricing – this model usually means that you can have an unlimited number of contacts but you pay per thousand email sends.

All email marketing vendors also offer multiple tiers of service, a basic tier providing email messaging, autoresponders and segmentation.  More advanced tiers usually provide more in-depth services such as email marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Funnels, Payment Gateways, and landing pages.

When it comes to pricing Benchmark Email offers very good Free service which is better than MailChimp’s free service, why?

Standout Benchmark Email Free Features:

  • Up to 2,000 contact storage – capped at 14,000 emails per month
  • Drip Campaigns
  • RSS to Email
  • Click Heatmap Reports
  • Survey & Polls
  • Unlimited Video Hosting

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Unlike most email service providers, Benchmark Email does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply the Free service & the Pro service.

Things to Know About Benchmark Email’s Pricing

What I like about the Benchmark Email pricing model is that it is simple and transparent.  However, there are a few add on costs you need to be aware of:

  • On the Free/Basic package, you will need to pay $5 per month for more than 10mb of image storage.
  • The dedicated IP address to avoid any deliverability issues will cost $29 per month even on the PRO service
  • Although the emails are responsive, if you want to check your email formattings on multiple devices it is $14 for 100 tests

Benchmark Email Marketing Features

Like all of the services reviewed, Benchmark Email offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, Benchmark Email has a collection reasonable of newsletter templates but unlike many of its competitors, it does not offer a large selection of licensed images, you will have to source your own, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Benchmark Email Service Overview Video


Start a Free Plan

Benchmark Email Key Features

Highlights of the Benchmark Email Pro Service:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders, Drip Campaigns
  • Automated Customer Journey Funnels
  • Facebook Audiences Integration
  • CRM Integration
  • Events Management
  • Polling & Surveys

Benchmark Email Capture Forms

Benchmark Email also a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress and alternatively a javascript embed code option.

I created a popup form in just a few minutes using the intuitive wizard which guides you through the process.  What is also nice is that Benchmark will also include landing pages is you do not have a website of your own.

Benchmark Survey & Polls

 

Unopened Resends

Again the simple approach to design and functionality adopted by Benchmark Email means you can easily resend an email to contacts who did not open the original email by changing the title/subject line and resubmitting.

Benchmark RSS to Email

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Email to Facebook

As with the RSS function, you can quickly and effectively integrate the Benchmark mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page.

Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability to be able to send an automatic update to your twitter profile from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvement that saves time and effort.

Benchmark Marketing Automation

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing/ Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation. Benchmark Email provides all of these services included in the price.  The automation is very simple and very visual, which means you can really see a customers journey through the process.  Take a quick look in the video below.

Benchmark Automation PRO Video

 

Benchmark Targeted List

Benchmark offers a very slick way to target your audience based on their past actions.  For example, you can simply select previous emails and focus in on those people who clicked a specific set of links and within seconds you can create a followup email which is targeted to only people who showed an interest in previous emails campaigns.  Watch the video below to see how it works

Email Targeting With Benchmark Video

 

Benchmark Email Reporting & Analytics

Benchmark Email Reporting - By Geography
Benchmark Email Reporting – By Geography

 

Benchmark Email has a great set of reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.

You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

They even have a nice way of reporting the social activity an email generates, this is somewhat unique to Benchmark.

Benchmark Email Reporting - Social Sharing
Benchmark Email Reporting – Social Sharing- Screenshot

Click Heatmap For Email & Landing Pages

In addition to the already solid set of features is the ability to visualize what links in any given email are clicked the most.  The Click heatmap is very valuable, and when used in conjunction with A/B testing it can improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

 

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit Benchmark Email for a Free 14 Day Trial

 

Advanced Email Features

A/B Testing With Benchmark Email

I really like the way Benchmark Email has integrated A/B testing for emails.  As you are getting ready to send a mail, you can simply select the advanced features to unlock A/B Testing.

Benchmark - Intelligent Subject Line AB Testing Automation - Screenshot
Benchmark – Intelligent Subject Line AB Testing Automation – Screenshot

The fantastic way in which this is implemented means you can:

  1. select and create multiple subject lines
  2. then select that you want to send the different titles to 10% of your list
  3. finally, based on those results, send the best subject titles to the remainder of the list 6 hours later.

Very clever and something I have not seen in other email software.

Dedicated IP For Sends

Benchmark Email also offers you the option to use a specific IP address for the SMTP server of your choice, this is a very nice feature that can help with deliverability rates if you currently have an issue with your domain’s reputation, this will cost $29 extra per month.

Benchmark Event Management

Although Benchmark does not have a specific Webinar hosting system, they do have an excellent integrated live event management service.

Benchmark Events Video

Highlight Features From The Benchmark Events Technology

  • Facebook Event Integration
  • Paypal Integration
  • Landing Pages Included
  • Event Links
  • Ticket Sales Widgets available
  • Tracking attendees and followup emails
  • App for scanning attendees tickets on entering the event

Benchmark Email’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

Benchmark Email is also taking aim at SMB customers by offering a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most small email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. But if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.  However, Benchmark does have some enterprise functionality, read on…

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

Benchmark Email does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.  Permissions are simple, you either have the administrator or contributor privileges.

Benchmark CRM

Benchmark Email also has a CRM service, it is not really enterprise-ready but has some nice features like the ability to track all user actions and the ability to work directly with Gmail (via a plugin) that allows you to tag leads directly from your inbox.

Benchmark Email Integrations

Benchmark Email does not have native payment processors or eCommerce functionality like GetResponse, but it does have a set of powerful integrations that enable this functionality.

Benchmark Email’s strategy is not to build a completely integrated solution themselves, but to build integrations to a select group of 3rd parties.  In addition to that, they have a Zapier integration which enables another 1,500 services.  So you can rest assured all the usual payment processors and eCommerce services are covered including:

  • Paypal – Payments
  • Stripe – Payments
  • Shopify – eCommerce
  • Samcart – eCommerce
  • WooCommerce – eCommerce
  • LinkedIn – Social
  • Slack – Collaboration
  • WordPress – Web Hosting

Security & Certifications

At this stage in the development of the internet, cybersecurity is of utmost importance.  High profile data leaks and hacks are resulting in large fines to businesses that do not adequately protect their customer’s data.

Email Service Provider Security Compliance Table

GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

 

Benchmark Email scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Whatever problem you may be facing the talented and passionate support team is available instantly, the support service is easy to navigate and use.

Benchmark Email Review Summary

Benchmark Email has a strong portfolio of tools including effective visual automation, smooth A/B testing and good analytics.  Social integrations to Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn & Slack show a well-rounded product feature set.  A reasonable CRM for small business is also included.  Starting at Free for up to 2,000 contacts, but even the Pro service is very competitively priced and well worth considering.

Visit Benchmark

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Benchmark Email Email Marketing – Full Features Data Sheet

FeaturesBenchmark Email
Value for Money☆☆☆☆
Features☆☆☆☆
Deliverability☆☆☆
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Client Satisfaction☆☆☆☆☆
Support☆☆☆☆☆
Total Stars25
Price ModelContact
Free OptionYes
500 Contacts$12
2,500 Contacts$29
10,000 Contacts$74
25,000 Contacts$150
50,0000 Contacts$231
Unlimited Contacts
Cost per Contact (cents)0.74
Primary Features eMail
eMail Templates
eMail Images
Email Form Templates
Drag & Drop Email Design
Autoresponders
Marketing Automation
Individual Customer Automation
Customer Tagging & Segmentation
Intelligent Timing Delivery
Time Travel (Global 9am Delivery)
Basic Email Analytics
Powerful Email Analytics
A/B Testing
SPAM Scoring
Advanced Features
Webinar Integration
Hosting Webinar & Recording
Email from RSS Feeds
SMS Marketing
Postcard Mailing
Automatic Product Recommendations
Site Chat CRM Integration
Membership Site Service
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accounts
Sales Team Lead Distribution
Salesforce Service Integration✔ (i)
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Polls
Sales/Lead Funnels
Landing Pages
Exit Popups
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations
Full Payment Gateways
Abandoned Cart Integration
Win Back / Bounce Back
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons
Referral Program Mgt
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Management
Facebook Integration
Cross Platform Journey Tracking
Activity Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations300+
Zapier App Integration
Deliverability☆☆☆
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Customer Satisfaction-
Customer Twitter Sentiment☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Customer Support☆☆☆☆☆
Visit the VendorVisit Benchmark
BenchMark Email - Service & Features Comparison Table

How We Rated the Service

Email Service Provider RatingsPrice Monthly (15-20% Discounts on Yearly Payments)
Value for MoneyPrice Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
FeaturesHow Complete is the Toolset
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Client SatisfactionUsing Twitter Customer Sentiment: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
SupportAverage Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Price ModelEntry Level/ Basic Package Prices – Per Contact Model = $ per ‘000 Contacts “unlimited Sends” or “Per Email Model per ‘000 email sends – Unlimited Contacts
Primary Features eMail
Email TemplatesIs there a broad selection of predesigned email templates?
Email ImagesAre images for emails available for free?
Email Form TemplatesPredesigned website ready templates for capturing new subscribers
Drag & Drop Email DesignEasily design great looking emails without HTML code
AutorespondersAre timed and action-driven autoresponders available
Marketing AutomationAbility to automate sequences of emails to customers
Individual Customer AutomationAutomation to tailor and personalize email content
Customer Tagging & SegmentationAbility to Tag, Segment & retarget customers by their actions, locations, time zones
Intelligent Timing DeliveryService optimizes send times based on when the customer previously opened emails
Time Travel (Global 9 am Delivery)The ability to target a specific time globally, e.g. deliver occurs at 9 am according to contacts time zone.
Basic Email AnalyticsReporting to allow reporting on list size, growth, open rates, bounce rates, etc.
Powerful Email AnalyticsAbility to see globally and individually the customer journey, actions, onsite and in email
A/B TestingMultiple sends with different content to test success rate
SPAM ScoringDoes the service check your content to make sure your messages are not flagged as SPAM
Advanced Features
Webinar IntegrationIntegrations Available for 3rd Party Webinar Services
Hosting Webinar & RecordingFull Webinar Hosting, Recording & Storage Service
Email from RSS FeedsCan you generate automatic emails from your website RSS feed?
SMS MarketingCan you send SMS messages and sequence and auto-respond?
Automatic Product RecommendationsAbility to insert product recommendations into emails – great for eCommerce businesses
Facebook RetargetingThe ability to retarget potential customer on Facebook after they visit your website or signup to your list
Site Chat CRM IntegrationIntegrated site chat which enables your contacts’ activities or requests to be added into your CRM or Marketing Automation for further sequencing
Membership Site ServiceDoes the provider offer site membership user management services
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User AccountsAdding multiple user or sub-user accounts so that you can collaborate with your team
Sales Team Lead DistributionSales team workflow to distribute contact and sales lead capture
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/PollsIs there an integrated survey & customer polling service included in the price?
Sales/Lead FunnelsAbility to visualize sales funnels and the customer journey through the pipeline
Landing PagesHosted pending pages integrated into your marketing automation
Exit PopupsAdvanced exit popup for your website available
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce IntegrationsNative full suite eCommerce integrations available
Full Payment GatewaysDoes the provider offer full turnkey payment gateways integrated into service?
Abandoned Cart IntegrationAbility to follow up with customers who did not complete a purchase
Win Back / Bounce BackAn effective solution for launching customer win-back campaigns
Payment Mgt
Discount CouponsIntegrated discount or promotional coupon service connected to payment gateways
Referral Program MgtCan you manage your own referral/affiliate program through the service – normally an expensive 3rd party service?
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal ManagementIs there an effective customer contact and relationship management system available?
Cross-Platform Journey TrackingThe ability to track customers activities across difference platforms, Website, Facebook, Email, SMS
Activity ScoringFunctionality to allow the grading of contacts/prospects by their activities, e.g. Points Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party IntegrationsHow many 3rd party integrations are available through the platform?
Zapier App IntegrationZapier provides over 1500 integrations, is Zapier available with this provider?
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Security & Certifications
GDPR CompliantCompliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulations
SSL TLS EncryptionSite uses strong encryption
EU-US Privacy ShieldCertified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Customer SatisfactionUsing the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. Blank means no ratings were available
Customer Twitter SentimentUsing https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
Customer SupportSupport (Chat, Email, Phone)
Support Times
Response Time
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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