Benchmark Email is an online service for creating and automating email marketing campaigns. The company has an international focus, with employees in 15 countries, offices in nine countries, and support staff that speak nine languages.
In our Benchmark Email marketing services review, we look at whether it’s one of the best email marketing services for business today.
Plans and pricing
For businesses with fewer than 3,500 subscribers, Benchmark Email has a free plan and a Pro plan. The free plan includes unlimited subscribers, but it’s limited to 250 emails/month.
The Pro plan has five pricing tiers, starting at $13.99/month for up to 600 subscribers. Prices steadily increase to $43.99/month when you have between 2,500 and 3,500 subscribers. Paying annually gets you a 15% discount.
For larger volumes, the plan is based on the number of emails you intend to send each month. For example, a plan including 10,000 emails per month costs $40/month, and sending 50,000 emails per month costs $150/month. Benchmark Email includes pricing all the way up to 15 million emails per month, which will cost you $10,000/month.
You can opt for a few add-ons, such as list verification ($3/1,000 contacts), unlimited image hosting ($5/month), and a dedicated IP address ($28.95/month.)
Despite its simple interface, Benchmark Email has powerful features for marketing campaign design, contact management, automation, reporting, and landing pages.
You can create regular and RSS email campaigns using a drag-and-drop editor, plain text editor, or HTML editor. Your campaigns can be A/B split tested, and an inbox checker tool shows you how your email campaigns will appear in a wide range of email inboxes.
Besides importing from XLS, CSV, and TXT files, you can bring in contacts from other tools like Zoho, Google Contacts, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can create sign-up forms, surveys, and polls from a list of templates.
Email automation for welcome emails, anniversaries, and reminders is available in the free plan, but where Benchmark Email shines is Automation Pro, a workflow-based email automation system that performs actions as users make their way through your sales funnels. Templates exist for abandoned cart emails, follow-up series, and Facebook ad retargeting, among others, and the versatile nature of the tool means you can speedily build custom automated workflows for your particular business needs.
Getting started with Benchmark Email is easy. You can begin with a free account that includes basic email marketing functions. The landing page builder and Automation Pro are available to test out on the free plan, but you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro plan before putting your work live.
The welcome dashboard takes you through all the steps you must perform before sending your first email campaign, from adding your contacts to creating your first email draft.
In our testing, Benchmark Email’s delivery rate percentage was found to be one of the poorest on the market today, and we found that fewer than 50% of emails sent made it to the receiver’s inbox. For Gmail inboxes, this dropped to fewer than 35% of emails sent. Considering that some competitors managed a delivery rate percentage of over 90% in our testing, Benchmark Email clearly needs to improve here.
Benchmark Email is EU-US Privacy Shield and Swiss-US Privacy Shield certified. Companies that gain this certification must follow a strong set of data protection rules and safeguards that keep customer data secure. Certification is renewed annually.
All sensitive information transmitted to and from the Benchmark Email website is SSL-encrypted. The emails sent by Benchmark Email use Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3 on supported email inboxes.
If you have a paid plan, you can add a Security PIN to your account that adds a password requirement to the download of customer lists. This second layer of security is particularly useful to businesses that have multiple people using the same Benchmark Email account, as it makes it much harder for unauthorized individuals to steal customer lists.
On the Benchmark Email website, customer support is listed as one of the company’s biggest strengths. However, during our testing, the knowledge base library was frequently offline and the link to browse webinars went nowhere.
But these are minor issues, and we found the short videos on how to use the software’s features useful. 24/7 live chat support is available, and you can get phone support during working hours in the US, the UK, and Switzerland. We tested out the live chat with a few queries, and the response was almost instantaneous and the staff highly informed, so we’d certainly recommend Benchmark Email if you prefer getting your support via live chat or phone.
Benchmark Email falls down in email delivery rates, so if ensuring your emails actually reach your customers’ inboxes is a priority, we suggest competitors ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and Sendinblue. These services all performed significantly better than Benchmark Email in delivery rates.
If you’re drawn to the clean interface of Benchmark Email, MailerLite is a good alternative. It’s cheaper and well laid-out, and has better email delivery rates than Benchmark Email.
Benchmark Email is easy to use, the after-sales support is good, and the flexibility and power of its automation tools are impressive. But Benchmark Email is priced towards the higher end of the market and is let down by poor email delivery rates compared to its competitors. It does have a free plan with no credit card required, so test it out for your own purposes before opting for a paid plan.
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