In a Nutshell
- Free up to 2,000 contacts and 14,000 emails each month
- Direct Google Analytics integration
- Limited social capabilities and integrations
- More expensive than many services after the free option
Why Choose Benchmark Email
For anyone who knows they’ll have fewer than 2,000 subscribers for the foreseeable future, Benchmark’s free package is almost a no-brainer. While you won’t have access to more advanced features such as A/B testing and engagement automations, you’ll have almost everything you need to manage an email marketing list for no cost.
Benchmark is one of the only services that offers automation capabilities with the free version. Users must subscribe to the paid version to segment by engagement, but can carry out a variety of basic contact list automation functions within the free version. This is a considerable value in conjunction with the free contact list plan. 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.
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Responsive templates
- A/B testing for subject lines
- Contact list automation
- RSS email campaigns
- Email delivery management
- Signup forms
- List segmenting
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 Ecommerce to music to real estate.
However, customizing templates with the email editor can be tough to work sometimes. Those planning to stick close to the template will be fine, but it may take some practice to master 3rd-party integrations like Flickr.
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, 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. There are even options for businesses with more than one million contacts.
Ease of Use
Even though the platform offers an array of features, it does a nice job of splitting them up into appropriate categories that are easy to manage and 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, so that users know exactly where to go.
The drag-and-drop editor is competitive compared to others on the market and generally easy to understand and use. It’s not as well-designed as competitors such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, but it’s simple enough to get accustomed to and use effectively in a short period of time.
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.
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 Email does a 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 every step of the way.
Benchmark offers 24/7 support that is friendly and 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, there is also 24/7 request support, which is essentially 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, Benchmark 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.
Benchmark Email offers the best free plan on the market and has created a comprehensive email tool that is easy to learn and master. 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.
About Benchmark Email
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.
Based in California, the company 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.