Benchmark Email Review Hitting the mark?

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Inka Wibowo

Inka Wibowo

Author

Charlotte Evans

Charlotte Evans

Researcher

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You might have checked out the Benchmark Email reviews offered by users online, and whilst they are pretty positive, they may not give you the whole picture. Our review of Benchmark is based on a methodical approach and uses our practical experience and knowledge of dozens of other simple and advanced marketing automation tools.

With a presence in fifteen countries around the world, Benchmark Email pride themselves on international service. I found myself speaking to several of their (more than 100+) staff on many occasions, and it’s true that their support is not only fast but also friendly. In fact, Benchmark’s support has won prizes, so I guess that’s something to brag about.

Offering a ‘powerfully simple’ tool (complete with a fresh, no-nonsense interface), Benchmark Email have done a decent job in terms of both user experience and features offered. This is particularly true when you consider that many of their features can be accessed without paying a cent. Though the number of emails you can send is limited to just 250/month, you can store unlimited contacts, so it’s not a bad deal.

But do they stand up when compared to other email tools in the market? Let’s find out.

  • Benchmark Review
Benchmark Review video

Try Benchmark for free

Benchmark Screenshots

Benchmark Pricing

$ 9.99

500 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Pro plan. Discounts applied to annual subscriptions

$ 19

1,000 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Pro plan. Discounts applied to annual subscriptions

$ 29

2,500 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Pro plan. Discounts applied to annual subscriptions

$ 49

5,000 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Pro plan. Discounts applied to annual subscriptions

$ 79

10,000 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Pro plan. Discounts applied to annual subscriptions

$ 199

25,000 Subscribers

unlimited emails

$ 279

50,000 Subscribers

unlimited emails

Free plan for up to 250 emails a month and unlimited subscribers is available.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use editor

    Strangely, a lot of newsletter tools get this wrong, but Benchmark’s is a breeze to use with all the elements you’ll need. The clean design makes it easy to navigate and work through the setup process quickly.

  • Flexible templates

    Their template choice is wide and high quality, with mobile display options for all templates. They are sorted by type, industry and calendar holiday.

  • Marketing automation

    Benchmark allows you to set up useful, behavior-based email campaigns that are ideal for things like abandoned cart follow-up and basic lead nurturing. The visual workflow editor makes setting up automations a simple affair.

Is Benchmark the right newsletter service for you?

  • Recommended if:
  • Not recommended if:
  • You need a simple and easy newsletter tool

    We found Benchmark to be a pleasantly easy tool to use, with a clean design, logical navigation and an intuitive email editor. Great for beginners, or those who just don’t want a lot of complexity in their email tool.

Rating Details

Ease of Use

Benchmark Email is very easy to use, with a stripped-back interface that’s clean and simple. Getting familiar with the system takes no time at all.

Editor Info popup

The drag-and-drop editor is fast and pretty intuitive, although you’ll come across a few instances where things don’t quite work as you’d expect – or as you’d like. For instance, some elements can be edited directly within the email (for example, body text), whereas simple things like button text need to be edited in a separate area. Still, there are some very handy features, such as a built-in image editor that allows you to crop, resize and add filters to images.

Personalization Info popup

Only simple personalisation is available, no if/then/else logic.

Email types Info popup

Classic newsletters, autoresponders, recurring, once-off (date-based), RSS to email, A/B testing, surveys, automation workflows.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs Info popup

There’s a good choice of templates available, and they’re all responsive. You can preview the mobile version of all emails from within the editor.

Email Marketing Automation Info popup

Automation Lite is available on all plans and allows you to send basic trigger-based emails. If however you’re looking to set up more sophisticated automation based on email clicks, webpage visits or abandoned cart follow-up, you’ll need to upgrade to Benchmark’s Pro plan. They also have some nice, ready-to-go templates to help you get these campaigns up and running quickly. It’s great if you’re looking to build targeted campaigns based on contact behaviour, but the automation is limited to sending emails and adding contacts to lists – there’s no way to do more complex tasks like sending emails with dynamic content, for example.

List Management Info popup

Segmentation based on contact fields with and/or criteria is available. On the paid plans you can also create ‘targeted lists’ based on email opens or URLs clicked within the email. However, you can only create segments within lists, not across them, which may be limiting for some. And you can only delete a subscriber from either one or all lists. There’s nothing in between. One useful feature though is their ‘clean list’ option, which allows you to remove bounces or those who haven’t opened your last few campaigns.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process Info popup

The forms are done well, allowing you to create pop-ups and other basic forms with relative ease. You can also add a limited number of your own database fields, and integrate with tools like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Unbounce.

Deliverability Info popup

Deliverability has proven to be a challenge for Benchmark. They scored especially badly when trying to reach Outlook emails (and most recently, Gmail emails too). In the latest round they placed last out of fifteen providers. Alternatives like MailerLite and ActiveCampaign performed much better.

Reports and Analysis

The reports are good, giving you the open, click, bounce, and unsubscribe rate (all data is exportable too). They also have an hourly performance graph, email heat-map, Google Analytics integration, geo-tracking and social tracking. There was no client or ecommerce tracking though.

Languages Info popup

A relatively good 9 languages within the tool. Chat support is available for 6 languages.

Spam- and Design-Testing Info popup

They do have these available within the editor. Spam testing is free, while design testing needs to be purchased. We did have issues where our emails passed the spam tests though, and all were delivered as spam. This also happened with all emails from Benchmark’s marketing team too, which is a little concerning. Find out how to avoid spam filters here.

Bounce Management Info popup

Pretty standard bounce management, flagging contacts as ‘confirmed bounces’ once they hard bounce three times. Note that these count towards your active contact count as long as they are not deleted or set to ‘unsubscribed’.

Blocklist Info popup

This is not available.

Storage available for data and images

10mb - Unlimited

Benchmark only offer a tiny 10MB of image storage, meaning that the average user will have to pay an additional $5 per month to increase it to unlimited.

Authentication Info popup

SPF and DKIM are available.

Own Domain Info popup

Although tracking links use Benchmark’s own domain by default (trk169.benchurl.com), you can contact support to request to use your own domain name.

Different levels of account access Info popup

Benchmark have sub-accounts available on their paid plans. It lacks some of the customization depth that other tools have, though.

Integrations

Quite a lot of integration available, including social media, CRMs and most other popular products. You also have all the in-app Zapier templates.

Landing Page Builder Info popup

Benchmark offers a landing page builder on its Pro plan. There are 6 simple templates available, and editing them is much like editing an email template.

Customer Support

The knowledge base is great due to its large library of videos, webinars and even several free ebooks on different topics. The online support was fast and mostly useful, although they struggled with getting back to me on things they couldn’t answer straight away.

Overall rating

3.25

Benchmark Email is a breeze to use. While their automation features aren’t the most sophisticated out there, they will probably be more than adequate for most small-to-medium businesses looking to send more targeted email campaigns.

Conclusion

When comparing Benchmark’s paid plans to its competitors, they sit within the middle to higher end, depending on subscriber numbers. They can match their competitors in the areas of ease-of-use, especially when it comes to the editor and template flexibility. But Benchmark starts to lose some of its luster when you look at things such as their deliverability issues.

Its automation pro feature offers users a way to set up simple yet useful automated campaigns, and is ideal for businesses who are just getting started with marketing automation. It should be noted however that it doesn’t stack up against the powerful automation offered by ActiveCampaign. A definite plus, though, is that you can try out Automation Pro on the free plan – you will just need to switch to a paid plan in order to activate your campaigns.

Benchmark is surprisingly stingy with their image and file storage: 10 MB won’t get you far. Keep that in mind when calculating the cost of their plans as you’ll probably end up paying $5 on top of that for additional storage.

Benchmark is a capable tool, with a good design that is simple enough for first-time users. And with their free plan, you can get a good sense of whether their marketing automation and email capabilities will fit your needs.

 

Try Benchmark Email now for free.

FAQ

Benchmark only counts active subscribers towards your monthly billing limits. Unsubscribed and bounced email addresses don’t count. Confirmed via live chat:

benchmark live chat subscriber count

Benchmark does offer a free. This comes with unlimited contacts and 250 emails/month. Though features are limited, you can benefit from responsive templates, basic drip campaigns and segmentation without paying a cent.

Though Benchmark is really easy to use and comes with decent automation features, its deliverability lets it down.

Yes! A generous 25% discount is given to all nonprofits.

Benchmark’s email marketing service is legit and safe. It stores your customer data securely, so there’s no need to worry.

Benchmark Alternatives

ActiveCampaign has the most powerful automation system we’ve ever tried, but at the same time it’s not over complicated. Their deliverability rates are also well above average, and their registration forms are highly customizable. Their pricing is fair if you consider their (high) quality.

GetResponse is more powerful than Benchmark, it comes with one of the best automation solutions we’ve ever seen. Additionally, it has unique advanced features like a webinar hosting solution or a landing page editor. It’s also a cheaper alternative than Benchmark.

MailerLite is affordable too and they performed well in our deliverability tests. In terms of features, they are similar to Benchmark – but way more budget friendly.

But if you are still unsure of what tool to use, check our smart assistant and find out in a couple of minutes.

 

The authors

Learn more about us

Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

Learn more about us

We keep our content up to date

06 Feb 2024 - Deliverability section updated
18 Jan 2023 - Pricing update
25 Apr 2022 - Deliverability rating decreased
17 March 2022 - Note about legitimacy added
03 Jun 2021 - General update
22 Apr 2020 - Updated free plan limits
7 Jan 2019 - Deliverability rating updated
20 Apr 2018 - Video review added
20 Mar 2018 - Deliverability rating added
8 Mar 2018 - Updates in interface and marketing automation
16 Jan 2018 - Prices update
28 Nov 2016 - Small updates in the storage section.
15-27 Oct 2016 - Initial tests.

Our Methodology

This review has been written and researched following our EmailToolTester methodology.

Our Methodology

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