Small businesses on a budget
International businesses with large lists
Data-driven email marketers
Free up to 2,000 contacts and 14,000 emails a month
Direct Google Analytics integration
Limited social capabilities and integrations
More expensive than many services after the free option
Benchmark Email is great for small businesses on a budget and international business enterprises looking for a comprehensive service that’s clean, affordable and has a terrific built-in reporting tool.
For those who know they’ll have fewer than 2,000 subscribers for the foreseeable future, Benchmark is almost a no-brainer. It’s free for up to 14,000 emails per month and fewer than 2,000 contacts. Granted, such users won’t have access to more advanced features such as A/B testing and engagement automations, but they will have almost everything they need for no cost.
Businesses that are a bit further along in their email marketing strategy will find Benchmark to be a suitable option, assuming they aren’t looking for a powerful social engine. The mobile-responsive templates are good, and the drag-and-drop editor is comparable to most other services. The A/B feature is intuitive, and users will love the direct Google Analytics integration. It makes it a lot easier to get a complete read on how the user’s email marketing relates to the rest of their marketing efforts.
It also has a useful inbox checker to make sure that subject lines and emails are showing up appropriately across different clients and devices.
A/B testing for subject lines
Contact list automation
RSS email campaigns
Email delivery management
Benchmark is one of the only services that offers decent automation capabilities with the free version. Users must subscribe to the paid version to segment by engagement, however they can carry out a variety of basic contact list automation functions within the free version. This is a considerable value in conjunction with the substantial free contact list plan.
Benchmark’s reporting suite is impressive as well. With specific reporting sections devoted to email reports, A/B tests, surveys, poll reports and automation reports, Benchmark Email makes it simple to see how particular marketing efforts have fared.
Setting up campaigns is simple as well. The whole dashboard feels intuitive, and users won’t likely need to reach out to customer service nearly as much as they would with competitors such as VerticalReponse or GetResponse.
Benchmark’s template options are impressive. It has a huge library of more than 100 templates covering every industry imaginable. The email editor can be tough to work sometimes. Those planning to stick close to the template will be fine, but sometimes adjusting the modules can be confusing. However, the Flickr integration into image content module is a useful feature.
Benchmark Email has the best free plan on the market with up to 2,000 contacts, 14,000 emails a month and the majority of features thrown in, including basic automation capabilities. The only features not included in the free version are the inbox checker email client preview, A/B testing, data security pin, sub accounts, engagement email and engagement automation.
Paid plans include all features and start at $11.95 for unlimited emails up to 600 contacts. Prices increase incrementally, costing another $6–$8 per month for every 500 additional contacts up to $327 per month for 65,000 contacts and beyond. It even has options for businesses with more than one million contacts.
Benchmark Email is refreshingly easy to use, and even though the service offers an array of features, it does a nice job of splitting them up into appropriate categories that are easy to access. For example, it doesn’t cram automation emails, A/B testing emails, surveys and regular campaigns all under a general “email” section in which the user gets lost. Instead, it splits them up on the navigation tab under email, so that users know exactly where to go.
The drag-and-drop editor is competitive and generally easy to understand and use. It’s not as well-designed as competitors such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, but it’s good enough to get accustomed to and use effectively in a short period of time. The Flickr integration is a unique and useful asset as well.
It’s also easy to use in a variety of languages, so for international companies working with people around the world under one account, Benchmark Email is an ideal option.
Benchmark’s template library is expansive, offering a plethora of options for any industry or use imaginable. It offers templates for everything from art to e-commerce to music to real estate.
Benchmark Email also does a really nice job of combining all the major elements of good email marketing into one test-friendly environment. An email marketer should always be testing subject lines with A/B testing, using automations to reach customers with timing and context, using RSS feeds to decrease the manual workload, taking surveys, hosting polls and so on, and the dashboard allows users to carry out all of these actions quickly with comprehensive data included at every step of the way.
Benchmark offers 24/7 support that is appropriately responsive. It takes a few minutes to get online, but once that’s achieved, the support is very helpful. For those who prefer not to use the live chat option, it also offers 24/7 request support, which is essentially 24/7 email support.
The phone support hours vary from country to country, however users can roughly expect service Monday–Friday during usual business hours.
While the support materials aren’t as complete as a service like Constant Contact, it does offer video tutorials, webinars, FAQs, a learning center and an API toolkit to help users with any integrations they are trying to install.
Benchmark’s Learning Center is particularly dense, with downloadable PDFs for industry-specific tactics, beginner materials, best practices and tool walkthroughs. It also provides additional HTML email templates within the learning center and big picture materials on how email marketing ties into the overall marketing plan of the business. These materials are useful for those just getting started in email marketing.
Benchmark Email offers the best free plan on the market and has created a comprehensive email tool that doesn’t feel overwhelming. With options for A/B testing, RSS feeds, surveys, polls and email automation, Benchmark Email equips any email marketer with the tools to succeed and offers thorough and understandable reporting to back it up.
Couple these features with an impressive number of email templates and Flickr integration, and Benchmark Email stands out as a good choice for small businesses and larger enterprises alike.
Founded in 2004 by Curt and Denise Keller, Benchmark Email specializes in a comprehensive email marketing solution and serves over 100,000 customers across the world, including legacy brands such as Mercedes-Benz and YMCA.
Although the company is based in California, it has consistently pursued the international market and has offices in Brazil, The Philippines, Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Italy and several other countries. The international efforts are reflected in the tool, with options for a variety of languages included in the platform.
10621 Calle Lee, Building 141
Los Alamitos, CA 90720, USA