Benchmark Email Review: Features, Pricing & More

Benchmark Email is simple email marketing for SMB senders. They were founded in 2004, and since have grown to over 150.000 loyal users. So they have a lot going for it, but is it right for you?

For this Benchmark email review, I tested everything about the tool for this full review with all the features, pros & cons, and pricing. Here is the quick summary: 

Summary of Benchmark Email software review

Benchmark email marketing is email software that small to medium businesses will love.

  • Creating a first email newsletter is delightfully easy.
  • They have a free software plan, and the paid plans offer a lot of value for money.
  • Beginners will appreciate the cleanness of the interface & help articles.
  • Automations aren’t super advanced, but autoresponders and triggered emails get the job done.
  • Support is personal and quick to respond if you have any questions.

👉 It’s like they promise: Quick to start and easy to use – if you are planning to do mostly newsletters and promotional emails you should give Benchmark Email a try.

Get started with Benchmark Email for free here

Benchmark Email’s most important features

Most marketers will use Benchmark email to send newsletters. But you can also automate triggered campaigns, build your email list, send welcome emails, and much more. What are the most important features of Benchmark email marketing software?

Top features of Benchmark Email with their icons
  1. Drag and drop editor: really easy to use. Intuitive block design and email previews
  2. Email templates: 200+ templates available. Smart categorization, including templates in multiple languages.
  3. Marketing Automation: Benchmark is great for automations to send emails and manage contacts. They offer a smart visual builder too.
  4. A/B Testing: Test your subject line, copy, CTAs, and send times to see what works best for your email campaigns.
  5. Landing page builder: As an added bonus there is a simple landing page builder. It  has a lot of content options, not so many templates though.
  6. Integrations: Benchmark has 1500+ integrations to all the popular technologies.
  7. Customer support: Reach out to benchmark through phone, email, and live chat. They’re responsive and very helpful.

Try Benchmark today

​​Benchmark Email Review

benchmark email review

When you sign up for Benchmark’s free platform, they say you can send your first email in under 15 minutes. That is quite a promise! I don’t know about that speed, but it does feel super easy.  When you open Benchmark for the first time, you are greeted by a getting started dashboard. 

benchmark dashboard on first login

There are smart wizard prompts everywhere in Benchmark that help you with every step. You can get started right away and “start building” all the way up to start drafting your first email. 

Benchmark Email Marketing: sending emails.

Now let’s begin with sending an email. Benchmark is a pure email marketing tool, with Benchmark you can create:

  • Newsletters
  • RSS/blog emails
  • Autoresponders
  • Recurring emails
  • Date-triggered emails
  • and automated email campaigns.

Its email editor is simple and easy to use. To get a better feel for Benchmark yourself, just jump in and try the email editor. 

Email Templates

When you create a new email, you select a template and jump right into the action. Benchmark has 221 free email templates so there is always a good one to start with. Select an email template by type, occasion, or industry.

free email templates

You can quickly preview any email template in detail by hovering over it, handy. A nice surprise is the templates for specific tools like eBay, Etsy, and Surveymonkey. Once you connect any of them with Benchmark these email templates instantly become available.

If you didn’t want to use templates, you can also use the code editor and import any HTML design you made. 

There are templates in many foreign languages like Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Well done Benchmark 👏.

Benchmark Email Editor

Now that we have the template/layout, we go directly into the email editor. The first thing you’ll notice is that you can edit all the text and images in place. So you see directly how your email will turn out as you edit it. 

email editor

The drag and drop editor is the most common way of designing marketing emails. Benchmark does a smart thing with their email designer.

You can drag-and-drop pre-made blocks like ‘image card’, ‘image groups’, from the left side of the screen into your email. It will make the combo of elements for you, so you don’t need think about how to put these together.

The drag and drop editor works well and is a quicker, simpler way of designing an email. Especially for beginners, you can skip a few design steps and directly work on the content of your emails.

The email editor lets you edit and preview your whole email on one canvas. This way you can move or delete blocks right there. Handy is the duplicate block function. Instead of building a whole new block, just copy one you already made and update the text / images.

Spam check and send tests
One of my favorite features of the Benchmark email editor is the pre-send and spam checks to make sure your email gets delivered and looks good. They are in the little “test” roll-up menu at the bottom.

You can send test emails to up to five contacts to review your emails. A spam check gives your email a spam score and recommendations to decrease your email spammy-ness.

For instance when I tried to send a very ugly email: Benchmark pointed out how my colors were low contrast and may affect my spam rating.

Try the Benchmark Email editor for free here

Inbox Checker and previews
Email previews are available in desktop, mobile, and plain text. Inbox Checker will show you how your email campaign will look in different email clients. 

Inbox Checker previews from Benchmark Email showing IPhone, Gmail App, iPad, Outlook

Inbox Checker is powered by Litmus, one of the best tools to do render checking. The tests cost a bit extra, but super affordable at $14 for 100 tests. Or sign up here and you’ll get 100 inbox checkers for free. Plus a 15% discount on the annual plan and a free list verification for your list.

Benchmark Email Marketing Automation Tools

Screenshot of cart abandonment automation in Benchmark Email

Now let’s get into marketing automation. Benchmark has two marketing automation tiers. Automation Lite is free for all plans. With it, you can do basic trigger-based emails.

Three types of triggers:

  • List triggers, send an email when someone signs up
  • Timed emails like birthday/anniversary emails
  • Drip campaigns for follow-ups, membership renewals, or marketing campaigns

Timing is important in automations. Time the delivery of your email by adding delays and picking a day of the week or timezone specific, to make sure your email goes at the right time and day.

Automation lite is a good way to get started with simple email marketing automation. If you’re looking for more control and options, I’d suggest using Benchmark Emails’ Automation Pro.

With Automation Pro, you can:

  • Customize your subscriber’s experience based on their behavior on your site and emails.
  • Target contacts from many lists or segments in one single automation.
  • See how your customers are interacting and converting along their journey. Then make adjustments to improve.

Benchmark gives you a bunch of handy automation templates.
Automation Pro has 11 pre-made automation templates. Think abandoned cart campaigns to retargeting campaigns.

I picked the ‘Promote and Target Opens, Clicks and Website Engagement’ template.

automation template with multiple options

Benchmark does a good job explaining what the automation templates do. They show what you can expect, how the automation works, what you’ll need, and a video to explain all the steps. I got it immediately, it just saves so much time.

Once you load your template, you land in the automation builder. It looks sleek, easy to understand and navigate.

automation work flow

This automation starts when a contact joins my list and immediately sends the first email. Then I added a delay and sort the contacts based on opens, clicks, and website visits. Depending on how they behave, I am adding them to different email lists.

The visual automation builder is delightful. With automations, you can trigger emails, add contacts to different lists, send SMS, and more. Other automation-focused email software, like ActiveCampaign, will let you go all out with dynamic emails and complex flows. Benchmark keeps it simple and to the point. But how do we get the people onto your list? 

Lead Generation in Benchmark

There are several ways to generate leads and capture emails built right into Benchmark email. I consider these bonus features, as you may have email list building tools or a landing page builder already. Super-handy if you don’t have them yet. 

Benchmark Email opt-in forms

Benchmark offers embedded forms, pop-ups, and third-party form integration. 

embedded form builder with form creation in progress

The embedded form builder has a few options. You can change the title, image, and styling options. And add as many fields as you like / need.

The form sends a standard autoresponder, or you can automate triggered follow-up or nurture emails. Select the contact list as a trigger in an automation and add all the follow-up emails. Presto! 

Designing a pop-up is similar, with some extra global settings. Control how your pop-up appears and grabs your visitors’ attention.

benchmark email pop up builder

The form builder needs no explanation. One thing I’d suggest is Benchmark to add some more form templates.  They’ve done a good job with email templates. If they can add some form templates, it would make their customer’s job that much easier. For now, if you want to use customized forms, you can always integrate with third-party apps to connect them.

Benchmark Landing Page Builder

As with their other features, Benchmark has kept the landing page builder easy to use. You start off by choosing one of three layouts, or one out of seven templates.

benchmark landing page templates

The landing page builder has a drag and drop editor. Give your design shape with different layouts and content blocks. Even with just a few templates, the editing experience is good compared to other landing page builders.

Add elements like:

  • Columns
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Text
  • Buttons
  • Navigation bars
  • Forms
  • Social media widgets and more

Toggle between desktop and mobile views, to make sure your landing page looks perfect across devices.

Screenshot of the Landing Page Builder in Benchmark Email with mobile view

Don’t forget to measure your landing page’s performance with tracking in Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Facebook Pixel.

Landing pages can be shown on your own domain. This way your landing pages look like they are a part of your own website.

Get started with Benchmark Email for free here

List Management

I tried to import contact lists to Benchmark Email. The process is straightforward. When you upload a CSV, Benchmark asks you which fields you want to keep and import.

Benchmark checks all your contacts and points out if any email addresses are Invalid, Risky (high chance they will bounce) or Unresponsive.

This is a great way to keep your email list clean and engagement rates high.

Screenshot of segmentation in Benchmark Email

Speaking of segmentation, you can create segments based on any data you have of your contacts. And you can create targeted lists based on interactions like opens and clicks.

The list view shows contacts’ email addresses, names, and the contact’s engagement ratings. You can search by all fields and criteria in the search bar.

active contacts dashboard in benchmark

With the list clean-up tool, you can add people to your suppression list. No need to send emails to contacts who’ve unsubscribed, bounced, or haven’t interacted with your emails for some time.

Reporting and Analytics

To measure and improve your email campaigns, you need to see the results. Benchmark shows you standard email stats on open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Screenshot of email analytics in Benchmark Email

A cool reporting feature is the geolocation graph. It breaks down opens by country. 

If you want to see how each link in an email performs, there is an overview for that called link performance stats. Benchmark also gives you an hourly performance graph and an email heatmap.

If you want detailed stats you can integrate with tools like Google Analytics for a deeper performance review.

Other useful reports included in the Benchmark dashboard are:

  • Automation reports
  • A/B test reports
  • Complain reports
  • Survey and poll reports

For landing pages, you’ll get statistics on:

  • Visitors
  • Conversions
  • And conversion rates

There is no direct view to get the sign-up numbers available. Those numbers are found by cross-checking the email list that they signed up for.

The way these KPIs and stats are presented makes it easy to interpret and act on data. You can export most data into CSV or XLS files for custom data handling.

Get started with Benchmark Email for free here

Integrations

Benchmark does well compared to other email service providers when it comes to integrations. It offers 1500+ services. These include popular integrations like Google, Facebook, Zapier, Shopify, WordPress, Paypal, Zendesk, and more.

If you want other applications to access your API key, you’ll find it in your Account > Settings > Integrations>API Key. If there is somehow an integration that isn’t available, reach out to Benchmark and they’ll help you make the connection. 

Benchmark Customer Support

Benchmark’s customer support is responsive and friendly. They have phone support for the UK, US, and an international hotline.

Even with a free plan, Benchmark encourages you to get in touch with them for setup. Reach out through email, live chat, or a call. Support is available 24/7.

customer support chat screenshot

There is a library of ebooks, webinars, and videos on different topics available. 

Looking at sites like G2 and Trustpilot, user reviews are positive and they like the support they are getting,

Benchmark Email pricing and plans

Benchmark has Free, Pro, and Enterprise plans. Start for free today and upgrade to paid when you feel ready. The Pro plan starts from $15 USD and goes up as your contacts increase.

benchmark pricing tiers

Only thing that’s different from other email providers is that you pay $5 for extra image storage. Or seen the other way around, you get a $5 discount if you want to host all your images on your own server.

The enterprise plan starts if you have more than 125,000 contacts. If you have more than 2 million contacts you can get a quote on custom pricing.

Benchmark Email Discount

If you’re looking for a sweet deal with Benchmark Email, we’ve got you covered.  Sign up for free today and get a 15% discount with the annual plan. Also, you’ll get free list verification for your list, plus 100 inbox checkers powered by Litmus for free. Sign up today for Benchmark Email.

Benchmark Email Pros and Cons

Benchmark email review

What we like the most

  • Benchmark has a free plan with 500 contacts and 3500 emails per month
  • 1500+ integrations to choose from and the option to create your own integrations
  • Large collection of templates for emails for any industry
  • Super easy to create email campaigns
  • Strong list cleaning options

What can be improved

  • Extra media storage is a paid option.
  • We’d love to see more templates for the pop-up forms.

Get started with Benchmark Email for free here

Benchmark Email verdict: Is it the right newsletter service for you?

We promised to review Benchmark as a tool for budding businesses and agencies. It’s an excellent tool to start out with, providing flexible templates and no-fuzz dashboards. Here’s how we score Benchmark Email:

Ease of Use: 5 / 5
Value for Money: 4 / 5
Email editor and templates: 4.5 / 5
Functionalities: 4 / 5
Email Automation: 4 / 5
Customer service: 4.8 / 5

Total score: 4.4 / 5

Benchmark Email gets the highest scores for the user interface, templates, and customer support. Overall it is a great tool to send simple email newsletters. Beginners will find it easy to start and use. 

Get started using Benchmark email here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Benchmark Email free?

Yes, Benchmark Email marketing service is free. With the free plan, you can send newsletters up to 3500 emails a month, welcome emails, and design popups.To take advantage of features like A/B testing, landing pages, and Automation Pro, sign up for paid plans.

How much does Benchmark Email cost?

Benchmark Email marketing service is free to use for up to 500 contacts and 3500 emails a month.If you upgrade to the pro plan, pricing starts from $15 and increases as your contact list grows.

Does Benchmark Email include autoresponders?

Yes, Benchmark email includes autoresponders. You can create a variety of automated email sequences using responsive email templates.Whenever you get contacts from sign-up forms, you can create autoresponders to welcome your subscribers. Send them news, deals, updates, and more.

Is Benchmark Email a good service?

Benchmark Email is good for small business email marketing, like a digital marketing agency or an eCommerce shop. It offers different types of emails, responsive templates, landing pages, reporting, and analytics.The drag and drop builder is easy to use and learn. Contact management options help you keep your lists clean and your customer data safe. You can sign up for free or use one of their paid plans.

What support options does Benchmark Email include?

The free version includes support for email, live chat and phone. If you get a paid account, you get a dedicated account manager as well.Their support covers all features. You’ll get support for contact list management, sign-up forms, automation features.

Does Benchmark offer any discounts to nonprofits?

Yes, Benchmark offers 25% to nonprofits on a paid plan. To apply for the non-profit discount, you’ll need to email them a copy of your IRS 501(c) determination letter.If your company is outside the United States, you can provide them with an equivalent type of 501 © document issued by your country. You can find all the information here.

What kind of training content does Benchmark have?

Benchmark provides videos, articles, ebooks, FAQs, and a knowledge base for training content. This content includes training for email campaigns, mastering a subject line, using the right email template, creating a welcome email, and more.

Does Benchmark Email accept affiliate links?

Benchmark email accepts affiliate links and affiliate marketing. But only after their team does an extensive review. If your affiliate email gets marked ‘not approved’ you’ll reach out to support to get a clarification. Then you can request a further review. Here’s our full list of the best email service providers for affiliate marketing.

Benchmark Email Alternatives

We’ve included some competitors in this Benchmark Email review. If you’re looking for similar email marketing services or just want a ‘benchmark’ for Benchmark Email, here are the best alternatives.

SendinBlue

SendinBlue has a great free plan and even on paid plans, it is one of the cheapest email software you can find. The email editor lives up to expectations, it is fun to click a newsletter together.

Mailerlite

MailerLite is a simple, effective, email newsletter software that does the job. They have an excellent free plan. And even on paid plans, it is cheaper than competitors like Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

It’s easy to manage contact lists and it comes with a free plan. Its advanced features include A/B testing and a basic website builder. It’s easy to create a responsive email and you can switch to a plain text editor for simpler emails.

Getresponse

GetResponse is one of the most well known email marketing platforms out there. Like Benchmark, you can get started with a free plan right away. It’s easy to create email campaigns and signup forms.

They offer a stronger automation feature set compared to Benchmark. Create targeted campaigns and measure campaign performance. The free plan doesn’t offer unlimited subscribers but all the features are available for use.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign has some of the best automation features on the market. They don’t offer services like inbox checkers as Benchmark does. Their strong suits are drip campaigns, advanced segmentation, and premium support. But that comes with a higher price tag.

ActiveCampaign provides a complete email marketing experience with unlimited emails for paid plans. Sign up for a free account and import your contact lists and start sending emails.

About Rukham Khan


Rukham is a Data-driven marketing enthusiast, technology researcher and writer. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.

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