A good alternative to Zoho Campaigns and MooSend
February 22, 2017

A good alternative to Zoho Campaigns and MooSend

Abigail Nwaocha | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Benchmark Email

I tested out Benchmark Email and several other email marketing services while searching for free email marketing solutions for E.D.G. Atelier as we just starting to grow our mailing list and there was no budget allocated for email marketing. We needed an email marketing solution that was free yet had features such as responsive email, automation, and reports. Since I was the only user, we didn't need features such as multiple users.

We just needed a software to grow our mailing list and send responsive emails.
  • Price: This one was a major Pro for us as we had zero budget for email marketing, so finding an email marketing service that was free for up to 2000 subscribers was a major win for us.
  • Ease of use: Benchmark Email was simple to use, and while it might have to do with the fact that I had tested out over 5 other email services prior to signing up, its simplicity was noteworthy. While ease of use wasn't among my top 3 qualities I needed our ESP to have, it was nice to use one anyone else could use. Creating an email was simple and the drag and drop elements were great and allowed for flexible design.
  • Responsive Emails: This one was a biggie for me. I needed an ESP that made my emails look good on a laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet. I created a test email and opened it on all my gadgets [laptop, desktop computer, windows smartphone, Kindle tablet and android tablet] and I was really impressed by its responsiveness.
  • Limited branding on signup forms: I think MailChimp ruined most free ESPs for me as most free email marketing services have limited design and branding options on signup forms. I wanted my signup form to have an image header with the company's logo on it. This feature was important to me so I asked the live customer support at that time if this feature was available and he said yes. Sadly unlike MailChimp that allowed an option for image headers in signup forms (which made it act as a simple landing page) Benchmark email did not. Benchmark now allows the option to add a logo to the top of the form. It wasn't until I went back to SendinBlue that I remembered a workaround to get image headers which was editing the signup forms' HTML code and including an Of course this, also meant constant tweaking to get the right image size.
  • Limited signup form design: Compared to most ESPs both free and paid, Benchmark's signup forms are not very attractive,. The form's design needs an urgent upgrade as it is rather unattractive.
  • Automation: I wouldn't call this a major con as Benchmark does have basic automation which is limited to welcome messages and similar one-off messages but, I suppose SendinBlue and MailerLite are to blame for running free ESPs for me by giving me a rather high expectation.
  • Form publishing: After designing my signup form, I was presented with three options: Place Signup Form directly on your website, Pop-up from a button on your website, Pop-up from a text link on your website. While option one was good and option two was much appreciated, I wanted the form to have a link I could share on social media.
  • Unfortunately we switched to a different email service provider so Benchmark has not had any impact on our business objectives.
Of the free email marketing services I tried, Benchmark could only stack up against Zoho Campaigns and Moosend. as unfortunately, MailChimp has better signup form customization options, SendinBlue's free plan offers advanced automation and MailerLite offers advanced customization and the creation of landing page.
I do believe that Benchmark email has a lot of potential, and if they fix the design issues and the allow signup forms to have their own URLs that can easily be shared, then they would stack up well against most free ESPs.
Since I tested the free plan, I can only give suggestions based on that. I think Benchmark is great for businesses/bloggers who are just starting to build their mailing list and do not need features such as advanced email automation. It is also great for those who know a little HTML/CSS otherwise they'd get frustrated at the limited signup form customization options. It's less appropriate for businesses without a website or blog.

Benchmark Email Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
9
Dynamic content
Not Rated
Ability to test dynamic content
Not Rated
Landing pages
Not Rated
A/B testing
Not Rated
Mobile optimization
9
Email deliverability reporting
Not Rated
List management
6
Triggered drip sequences
Not Rated
Dashboards
8
Standard reports
7
Custom reports
Not Rated

Using Benchmark Email

1 - I'm the only user of Benchmark email and I represent the marketing and PR branch of E.D.G. & Atelier architects.

Evaluating Benchmark Email and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Third-party Reviews
For us, pricing was one of our most important factors. An ESP could have all the features we wanted but since we had zero budget for it, we'd have to let it go. Of course other features such as responsive emails, automation, branding, and signup customization were important but it all came down to the price.
I think I would have been more specific with my selection process and taken the time to talk to customer support about each feature I wanted and if their free plan had those features. I do believe that I might have jumped the gun a bit in selecting Benchmark email because I should have taken the time to ask the customer support about the customization and publishing options of the signup forms.