Absolutely every blogger out there, as well as most Marketing professionals, know that an Email List is paramount to success! Email marketing can be so powerful in driving both traffic and conversions on your website, building your brand and improving the connection you have with your readers/customers/fans.
But building the Email List is just the first part! You then have to make sure that the emails you are sending out reflect your brand, look nice, are easy to read and help to drive engagement. That’s where Email Marketing tools come into play.
As someone who has always defaulted to MailChimp, I was very intrigued when Benchmark Email where nice enough to give me access to their tool so that I could review it! So, shall we get on with it?
The first thing that we should look at is the registration process. Normally with these reviews I would look at and comment on the installation of the tool, but since this is purely online, the registration process is sort of the equivalent.
In terms of how to register, it’s actually really easy to find and carry out. When you first visit the Benchmark site, there’s a big button that says “Get Started”. Clicking that takes you the page shown in the following screenshot.
Filling out that form is all it takes to actually get started! I was surprised that there wasn’t any other forms to fill in. The only thing that would have made it easier if it allowed you to sign up by logging in with social profiles… However, that might not work with the whole Email Marketing thing, so having a quick and easy form is great.
Now, the effectiveness of Email Marketing really comes down to how you setup and design your emails, and how well you can get people to sign up to your list. In that sense, the effectiveness of an Email Marketing tool like Benchmark is how well you can create the email template and sign up form.
Having a very intuiative drag and drop designer for the email template, it’s really easy to pick up and get your email designed. There’s a number of different base layout templates, as shown below, that will help you get started.
Once you’ve chosen your base layout, you’re taken to the actual drag and drop interface, which is really clean and easy to navigate. There are 14 different “blocks”, or sections that you can drag into the email, including the basic like a text field, image and buttons, as well as more interesting blocks like video, an image group and in-email navigation bar. So you can make some really engaging templates with ease.
So yeah, in terms of effectiveness, the ability to quickly create the email template itself is a major positive! Add to this the fact that there are multiple different types of sign up forms that you can customise and you’ve got a great tool to build your email list and create engaging emails to sent to them!
Moving on to the usability, which we’ve kind of covered already, the best part of the tool is the ease of use that the drag and drop system allows. But that’s not the only aspect of usability, is it? Actually being able to navigate around the tool in general is also important.
Thankfuly, the User Interface of Benchmark Email is actually very intuitive, so you aren”t likely to get lost and confused when navigating around.
That screenshot is right from the dashboard, and is the first thing you see. Straight away after logging in, you’re greeted with big and bright buttons that stand out clearly, so you can immediately work out where you need to go to do what you want to do.
And this style of user interface permeates the entire tool, meaning that you’ll always be able to get where you need to be, see the data you want to look at and create the emails you are hoping to build! So yeah, I am very impressed with the interface! In fact, personally I find it easier to understand and navigate than Mail Chimp!
On of the major factors that always needs to be considered is the cost of a tool. Like most Email Marketing tools, there is a free account for Benchmark, which allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers, which is awesome! But you are limited in the amount of emails you can send per month. So, what about the paid accounts? Well, it depends on the size of your subscriber list.
With each of the Medium level paid subscriptions, you get unlimited emails per month, whilst with the Large level subscriptions, you get hundreds of thousands of emails per month. Again, the level of subscription you should be looking at depends on the size of your list.
The screenshot above shows the Medium level subscription, which I would recommend to bloggers and SME businesses. In terms of pricing, In terms of competitive pricing, Benchmark’s 1,000 subscriber price is just that bit cheaper than Mail Chimp’s. So, in terms of cost, I was happy because it was competitive rather than being more expensive.
And That’s All Folks
Overall, I’m actually really impressed with Benchmark, and am planning to migrate across to them from Mail Chimp. I find the ease of use and the user interface so much cleaner, and the pricing is still competitive! I would highly recommend checking Benchmark out to see if it’s for you, because it’s so much more accessible than Mail Chimp, in my personal opinion.
A Little Extra Something Something
Oh! By the way, as well as Benchmark giving me the opportunity to review their tool, they are also offering a 10% discount to any of my readers who sign up from this article!
All you need to do is sign up here, and Benchmark will apply the 10% discount once you have gotten started!