Benchmark Email Review: Is Benchmark Worth It? Yes!

Benchmark Offers Good Features & Excellent Pricing Starting At Free. But Are Its Features Good Enough? We Compare Benchmark vs. its Competitors

This review recommends Benchmark email for startups needing the best free service for 2,000 contacts. The Benchmark Pro service is also competitively priced and has many innovative features.

Benchmark Rating 4.4/5.0
πŸ’Έ Pricing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
⚑ Features β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©
πŸ“§ Email Deliverability β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©
πŸ–± Ease of Use β˜…β˜…β˜…βœ©βœ©
πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘© Client Satisfaction β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
☎ Customer Support β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Benchmark Review Summary

This Benchmark review uncovers a strong portfolio of email tools, effective visual automation, smooth A/B testing, and good analytics. Benchmark’s social integrations to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Slack show a well-rounded product feature set. A reasonable CRM for small businesses is also included. Benchmark starts at free for up to 2,000 contacts, but even the Pro service is very competitively priced and well worth considering.

California-based Benchmark Email was established in 2004. They offer a solid set of features for a competitive price. Neither the price leader nor the features leader, Benchmark occupies a place in the industry, offering simplicity and value for money.

Benchmark Review: Features

⚑ Features Customer Tagging & Segmentation
πŸ† Unique Features Individual Customer Automation
🎯 Best for Small/Medium Businesses
β™² Subscription Monthly
πŸ’° Price $0-$150/mo
βœ‚ Discount Great Free Service
🌎 Region Global

Benchmark Pros

Highly Recommended Software
Benchmark Email: Highly Recommended

β˜… Easy to Use Automation Pro
β˜… 24/7 Phone & Chat Support in 9 Languages
β˜… Good Twitter Sentiment Ratings
β˜… Easy Responsive Email Editor

Benchmark Cons

✘ Image Storage Costs $5/m
✘ Reports of Email Deliverability Issues

Visit Benchmark Email

 

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 features and benefits 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 with 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

When it comes to pricing, Benchmark offers excellent 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

Benchmark: Ranked 4th for Best Email Marketing Services Pricing.

  1. SendX: The lowest cost email marketing software by a big margin, and packed with enough great features for startups and SMB’s
  2. GetResponse: GetResponse is the 2nd lowest costing software but has the best advanced power features available. If you need CRM, Auto-Funnels, Facebook lead generation, and cross-platform tracking – GetResponse is the best choice.
  3. AWeber: A good price and features balance, suitable for those wanting basic automation and valuing simplicity
  4. Benchmark Email: With their Free service for up to 2,000 contacts, Benchmark is the best free email marketing service, provider. And it has plenty of power features too.
  5. iContact: A well-priced service for a good set of features. If you want intelligent sending and a strong CRM, look at GetResponse.
Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesiContact Email Marketing ServiceOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Valueβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$15$19$13$17$25$15$9$30$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$25$29$30$38$49$50$39$50$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$65$69$76$81$119$99$111$110$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$145$149$144$191$166$219$179$199$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$250$392$237$295$316$299$239$379$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.81111.110.672.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit iContact ServicesVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Table 2: Value for money ratings, price model, cost per contacts comparison

[Related Article: Top 5 Cheapest Email Marketing Services]

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

Things to Know About Benchmark Email’s Pricing

I like the Benchmark Email pricing model because 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 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 predesigned 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.

Benchmark Email has a collection of useful 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 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 predesigned email capture forms that 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, guiding you through the process. It is also nice that Benchmark will also include landing pages if you do not have a website of your own.

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.

BenchmarkΒ 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

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

Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability 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 effortless and very visual, which means you can see a customer’s journey through the process. Take a quick look at the video below.

Benchmark Automation PRO Video

Visit Benchmark Email for a Free 14 Day Trial

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 on those who clicked a specific set of links. Within seconds you can create a follow-up email targeted to only people interested in previous email campaigns. Watch the video below to see how it works.

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, unsubscribe 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 your email campaigns’ effectiveness.

 

[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 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 have an excellent integrated live event management service.

Highlight Features From The Benchmark Events Technology

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

Benchmark Email’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

Benchmark Email also aims at SMB customers by offering a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most small email marketers do not need this level of functionality. But if you are part of a larger team that needs CRM, you will want to consider GetResponseΒ or Ontraport.Β  GetResponse has a great price point and a complete set of features. However, Benchmark does have some enterprise functionality; read on.

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

Benchmark Email does 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 administrator or contributor privileges.

Benchmark CRM

Benchmark Email also has a CRM service; it is not enterprise-ready but has some nice features like the ability to track all user actions and 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 result in large fines to businesses that do not adequately protect their customer’s data.

Email Service Provider Security Compliance Table

GDPR Compliant βœ”
SSL TLS Encryption βœ”
EU-US Privacy Shield βœ”

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 β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Support (Chat, Email, Phone) Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times 24/7
Response Time Immediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†

 

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 businesses is also included. Starting at Free for up to 2,000 contacts, 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 Moneyβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Featuresβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Deliverabilityβ˜†β˜†β˜†
Ease of Useβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Client Satisfactionβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Supportβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
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 Templatesβœ”
eMail Imagesβœ”
Email Form Templatesβœ”
Drag & Drop Email Designβœ”
Autorespondersβœ”
Marketing Automationβœ”
Individual Customer Automationβœ”
Customer Tagging & Segmentationβœ”
Intelligent Timing Delivery
Time Travel (Global 9am Delivery)
Basic Email Analyticsβœ”
Powerful Email Analytics
A/B Testingβœ”
SPAM Scoringβœ”
Advanced Features
Webinar Integrationβœ”
Hosting Webinar & Recording
Email from RSS Feedsβœ”
SMS Marketing
Postcard Mailing
Automatic Product Recommendations
Site Chat CRM Integration
Membership Site Service
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accountsβœ”
Sales Team Lead Distribution
Salesforce Service Integrationβœ” (i)
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Pollsβœ”
Sales/Lead Funnels
Landing Pages
Exit Popups
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations
Full Payment Gateways
Abandoned Cart Integrationβœ”
Win Back / Bounce Back
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons
Referral Program Mgt
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Managementβœ”
Facebook Integration
Cross Platform Journey Tracking
Activity Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations300+
Zapier App Integrationβœ”
Deliverabilityβ˜†β˜†β˜†
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliantβœ”
SSL TLS Encryptionβœ”
EU-US Privacy Shieldβœ”
Ease of Useβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Customer Satisfaction-
Customer Twitter Sentimentβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Customer Supportβ˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†
Visit the VendorVisit Benchmark
BenchMark Email - Service & Features Comparison Table

How We Rated the Service

Email Service Provider Ratings Price Monthly (15-20% Discounts on Yearly Payments)
Value for Money Price Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
Features How Complete is the Toolset
Deliverability Email Deliverability β˜†β˜†β˜†60% β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†80% β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Ease of Use Our rating on ease of use and design
Client Satisfaction Using Twitter Customer Sentiment: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service.
Support Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Price Model Entry 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 Templates Is there a broad selection of predesigned email templates?
Email Images Are images for emails available for free?
Email Form Templates Predesigned website ready templates for capturing new subscribers
Drag & Drop Email Design Easily design great looking emails without HTML code
Autoresponders Are timed and action-driven autoresponders available?
Marketing Automation Ability to automate sequences of emails to customers
Individual Customer Automation Automation to tailor and personalize email content
Customer Tagging & Segmentation Ability to Tag, Segment & retarget customers by their actions, locations, time zones
Intelligent Timing Delivery Service 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 the contact’s time zone.
Basic Email Analytics Reporting allows reporting on list size, growth, open rates, bounce rates, etc.
Powerful Email Analytics Ability to see globally and individually the customer journey, actions, onsite and in email
A/B Testing Multiple sends with different content to test success rate
SPAM Scoring Does the service check your content to ensure your messages are not flagged as SPAM?
Advanced Features
Webinar Integration Integrations Available for 3rd Party Webinar Services
Hosting Webinar & Recording Full Webinar Hosting, Recording & Storage Service
Email from RSS Feeds Can you generate automatic emails from your website RSS feed?
SMS Marketing Can you send SMS messages and sequence and auto-respond?
Automatic Product Recommendations Ability to insert product recommendations into emails – great for eCommerce businesses
Facebook Retargeting The ability to retarget potential customers on Facebook after they visit your website or signup to your list
Site Chat CRM Integration Integrated site chat which enables your contacts’ activities or requests to be added into your CRM or Marketing Automation for further sequencing
Membership Site Service Does the provider offer site membership user management services
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accounts Adding multiple user or sub-user accounts so that you can collaborate with your team
Sales Team Lead Distribution Sales team workflow to distribute contact and sales lead capture.
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Polls Is there an integrated survey & customer polling service included in the price?
Sales/Lead Funnels Ability to visualize sales funnels and the customer journey through the pipeline
Landing Pages Hosted pending pages integrated into your marketing automation
Exit Popups Advanced exit popup for your website available
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations Native full suite eCommerce integrations available
Full Payment Gateways Does the provider offer full turnkey payment gateways integrated into the service?
Abandoned Cart Integration Ability to follow up with customers who did not complete a purchase
Win Back / Bounce Back An effective solution for launching customer win-back campaigns
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons Integrated discount or promotional coupon service-connected to payment gateways
Referral Program Mgt Can you manage your own referral/affiliate program through the service – normally an expensive 3rd party service?
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Management Is there an effective customer contact and relationship management system available?
Cross-Platform Journey Tracking The ability to track customers’ activities across different platforms, websites, Facebook, Email, SMS
Activity Scoring Functionality to allow the grading of contacts/prospects by their activities, e.g., Points Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations How many are 3rd party integrations are available through the platform?
Zapier App Integration Zapier provides over 1500 integrations; is Zapier available with this provider?
Deliverability Email Deliverability β˜†β˜†β˜†60% β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†80% β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliant Compliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulations
SSL TLS Encryption The site uses strong encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield Certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Ease of Use Our rating on ease of use and design
Customer Satisfaction Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. Blank means no ratings were available.
Customer Twitter Sentiment Using https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/, we rated the tweets about the service.
Customer Support Support (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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