Friday, May 1, 2009

GraphicMail and Benchmark Email

Recently I ended up switching the service I use to create and send my monthly email newsletters. Previously, I had been using a service called GraphicMail. A decent website that incorporates pre-made templates, a half-decent pricing system, and easy-to-run reports on your sent emails, the service was doing well for me until I, through researching other services, found one that works twice as good for me.

Benchmark Email is an email newsletter service that scores high in my book for a couple of reasons:

First, the price:

GraphicMail, at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, offers 2000 send credits (emails) per month for a consistent price of $9.95 per month. Those credits DO NOT rollover to the next month, meaning you lose them and the 2000 start over the next month. GraphicMail does however have a pay-as-you-go plan that is $49.95 for 2000 credits that DO rollover month to month.

Benchmark Email, at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, offers 600 emails a month for $9.95, none of which rollover to the next month. However, I spoke with Benchmark Email support and they stated they have initiated a new pricing system that can be used if you want to pay according to the size of your email list, starting at 1000 emails for $18.95/month.

Second, the newsletter editor:

GraphicMail allows you to choose from over 100 templates that can be customized by you or they offer to create a template that is tailored to your business for an additional charge of $350. The editor they have to customize the templates is Microsoft Word based…horrible for graphic applications in my own opinion. Using rows and columns, you can update the content of the newsletter, the colors and the overall look, but I don’t find it to be very user-friendly.

Benchmark Email uses a drag and drop editor that is a lot easier to use and customize. You can customize just about every color scheme in the newsletter using pre-made templates from their website. You can incorporate videos, your own personal logo and any links you have. It’s just easy and made creating an email newsletter a faster, simpler process.

Third, reporting:

Both sites have a decent report feature, but I happen to like the appearance and simplicity of Benchmark Email’s better. A bit more clean cut, as is their site and layout as a whole. They give you a pie chart that shows how many emails were opened, not opened yet, or bounced because of bad address, including a click rate of the links included in your newsletter…everything in a quick glance.

All, which for me, as busy as I can get, made Benchmark the easy choice.

You can check out Benchmark at

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