Our 2017 research and analysis of email marketing software leads us to again recommend Benchmark as the best email marketing software for small businesses. We chose Benchmark from dozens of email marketing software options. To understand how we choose our best picks, you can find our methodology and a complete list of email marketing software vendors on our best picks page.
Benchmark combines ease of use with a wide variety of design options to deliver the best value for the price, which compared to many of its competitors is extremely affordable. (More about Benchmark’s pricing structure in the “Cost” section below.) Here’s a breakdown of why it’s our best pick.
Ease of use
Out of all of the software we tested, Benchmark had the best combination of producing professional-looking emails, while also being easy to use, even if you have no prior experience with design or email marketing.
Rather than software that’s stored on your computer, Benchmark is software as a service (SaaS) that you access online. There’s nothing to download or install and it can be used from any computer with an Internet connection.
We were most impressed with the multiple ways in which you can create email campaigns. There’s a drag-and-drop editor for those with no design experience, a code editor for advanced users who have expertise in writing their own HTML code, and a plain text editor for creating text-only emails that don’t include any photos or images.
We found that the drag-and-drop editor doesn’t take long figure out. It lays out all of the steps in a very natural way that makes it simple to understand. Before getting into the actual design stage, you choose a subject line, decide if the email should be shared on Facebook and Twitter, and choose which contacts to send it to.
The United States government spends over $4 trillion per year with large and small businesses. While the government places extra emphasis on awarding its contracts to small businesses in general (about a quarter of all contracts), there are also set-aside contracts for small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans, including military personnel with disabilities. Paul Karch, president of SelltoGovernment.com, which helps small businesses earn government contracts, said that the application process is a lengthy one, so now is the time for small businesses to start laying a foundation. If you’re launching a small business or want to start landing government contracts as an existing small business owner, read on to learn how you can take advantage of these special opportunities.
The first step is to identify what you want to sell, using the codes of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Those codes are listed on the North American Industry Classification Systems Association’s website. The codes classify the economic sector, industry and country of a business. Be aware that you may need to have several NAICS codes, depending on your product offering or service capabilities, so look carefully. Make sure that your business has that NAICS code, because it’s one of the first things that the government will look at to determine your eligibility as a government contractor; contracts aren’t awarded without one.
The Small Business Administration also recommends that businesses interested in securing a federal contract obtain a free Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number — which is a unique, nine-digit identification number for each physical location of a business — as well as an Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation. These evaluations are an independent audit of customer references and calculate a rating based upon a statistical analysis of performance data and survey responses. In addition to a NAICS code and D-U-N-S Number, small businesses applying for a government contract will need to obtain the following to help identify their business, industry and product categories: a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for filing taxes; Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code; Product and Service Codes (PSC); and Federal Supply Class Codes (FSC).
What do business owners, professionals and experts expect 2017 to hold for small business? After a tumultous election season, entrepreneurs can finally expect a little bit of certainty and stability. Keeping an eye on key trends and new developments, of course, is always imperative for any business that wants to position itself advantageously. Business News Daily got in touch to find out what are some of the biggest things for you to keep an eye on as your business prepares for the dawn of a new year. Here are 40 key ideas, trends and predictions to keep in mind in order to make the most of 2017 for both your business and the people it serves.
“In 2017, increased confidence among small business owners regarding the economy and their overall performance could lead to trends in business investment. Both the economy and stock market have shown signs of strength during the final weeks of 2016, and this helps increase business owner optimism.” – Carla Freberg, Director of Sales, Vendor Services Group, Balboa Capital Niche companies will find success “Business success wil come from further focusing on smaller, very specific audiences. Going extremely deep with customized messages and specialized platforms to a highly receptive and loyal audience will replace wide approach “shot gun” marketing. [We’ll see] more soft or no ask/call to action marketing focused on community building, experiences and lifestyle over product specific messaging.” – Kyle Golding, chief strategic idealist at The Golding Group Finance and investment Crowdfunding will play a key role in financing small business “Crowdfunding will continue to be an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs.
Crowdfunding platforms allow entrepreneure to easily validate and fund a new product or service all while growing their customer base.” – Michael Banks, founder of FortunateInvestor.com Investment assets will shift to reflect an uncertain market “We’ll see more money go into cryptocurrencies, probably Bitcoin as it’s still the leader, and potentially precious metals. Stocks, bonds and real estate are all in bubbles of one sort or another. One of the consequences of central bank intervention with money printing is that all the mainstream asset classes are tightly correlated. So with the economy worldwide looking precarious right now, we’ll see people managing risk by shifting capital from over-valued asset classes into an under-valued class. When all the major asset classes are in bubbles, there is no ‘cheaper’ asset class to shift capital into, so it has to go elsewhere. I can see gold and cryptocurrencies absorbing that money and rising appropriately.” – Brandon Ackroyd, head of customer insight at Tiger Mobiles
Franchising Benefits That Will Convince You To Choose Such Platform Instead of trying their own untried, unproven and new business plan, people prefer to run franchises in different parts of the world. The advantage of having a franchise is the fact that all major components of a business are working already. From basic market surveys, business plans as well as research, these are all provided to the franchisee. Say for example that you have a strong desire to be a boss of your own business, then it is strongly recommended to franchise a business because it usually provide numerous benefits. When you have a franchise, you’re basically taking on a business model that’s already working and established its name in the market. Essentially, you are going to get a business kit that has to be opened and managed. Then after, you’ll be a part of a franchise network that offers support on all aspects of the business to guarantee that franchisees would be successful in their venture. Training is usually provided by the franchise making your staff more efficient in service leading to a more productive operation. What’s more, it’ll make your ramp up time short and concentrate on growing your business. Franchise organizations are making the efforts to stay up-to-date with changes as the world keeps on innovating. Not only that, the franchise chain do offer valuable technical support as well as other assistance needed by their franchisee. Big and major decisions similar to technology, group branding, machinery and advertising will all be made by the franchise. Moreover, product research, future plans, expansion of activities, market surveys and buying power will be handled by the franchise chain to which their franchisees have easy access to. As a result, this makes the risk minimal when compared to venturing alone.
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Through this, you are going to be the boss of your own and work towards in securing your future. Definitely, your long hours of hard work as well as devotion pays off and reap benefits of being in the business yourself. It brings the best of both worlds by owning a franchise business as you get the chance of running a business while having accessibility to support that is needed in relation to customer relations, marketing, accounting, deployment, staff training as well as day to day running.
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It is recommended as well that you perform a thorough research about the franchise first if you have been planning to start a business of your own and considering franchising. Without a doubt, it is possible to turn your dreams into reality by having a franchise but it is crucial that the network is committed in delivering the best service and product to make it happen.
Waste Water Treatment Manufacturers
There is release of variety of waste from both domestic and industrial such as water, solids and gases. These types of wastes are directed into the environment and cab e hazardous. However, taking these wastes through treatment process reduces harm made to the environment. The end products from the waste treatments plants include recycled products, clean water and safe, biodegradable products. The treatment process for the waste depends on the source and type of waste. Wastewater is common in most process including in homes and industries. There are different stages of the wastewater treatment process.
The septic system is used to treat water in most homes. Though the septic system is simple, it should always remain functional. Nevertheless, septic systems that serve several homes are more complex since they have to absorb lots of waste. There are however waste water treatment plants for use in large residential estates and factories. There are manufacturers of wastewater treatment plants and can assist you in design and construction of wastewater treatment plants. A project plan is made according to the unique circumstances surrounding it. The manufacturers have engineers who handle the project since its inception to monitoring and maintenance works. These systems are complex and require large capital outlay. These systems remove quality clean water and thus used at commercial levels.
There are three main stages in the water treatment process. water flows through pipes by means of pumping or gravitational force. There is removal of floating and suspending solids in the reservoirs. This process happens in the presence of centrifugal force. The process can remove the about 60% of the suspended solids. Chemicals can be used at times to increase the removal of solids. The water is then directed to the second phase also known as secondary stage or organic stage. In the second stage, the remaining biodegradable and suspending articles are given as food to organism such as fish. The organism in the water eat the food particles in the water remove the phosphate and nitrates nutrients in the water. More than 80% of impurities in the water are removed at this stage. Water passed through his phase is not hazardous to the environment.
However, to make the water pure, the third stage is incorporated. The phase is referred as the tertiary level and the water released is usable for a variety of uses. Various chemicals are applied to remove the impurities and ensure that it is safe. Some firms use chlorine to remove all impurities though it has become a subject of discussion in the recent.
Water pumped into the wastewater treatment plant should not contain industrial chemicals. The individual factory releasing such waters should take individual responsibility by establishing a treatment plant at their base before releasing such water.
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The advantages of software escrow services.
The term escrow can be defined as a contract that exists between two or more parties who want to keep a valuable to a third party who acts as an agent. Among the things that can be stored by the escrow are money, documents or properties. It is under various conditions that the services of escrow are required. This is kind of a protection offered to the licensee of the software so that they can be able to access the security code once something goes wrong. Most of the programmes can create a program where they can write a security code in it. Most of the programs that are created have a source code which is transferred to the programs which are executable. The executable programs can just be installed for your own use.
Those who have the knowledge and experience about the executable programs can just source the security code and be able to create the application themselves. Once a company that developed the software is not paid by the company they created the software for because of bankruptcy the escrow agent can release the software source code to the licensee so that they can work with them.
It is important that parties that sign the escrows understand that there are necessities that must be met. The software escrow service offers custom software to different companies which are very vital and critical to the company itself. The software escrow have to continue the maintenance even if the licensor is not in a position to do so because of bankruptcy. If you want to do this using the easiest way possible ask for an updated source code. The licensor will always be reluctant to agree to this term because the source code represent a trade secret that is guarded heavily.
Apart from deception there are other things that can lead to the use of software escrow. The serious issues may involve a huge amount of money. The software escrow services agreement enables the purchaser to have some protection and it becomes more efficient when the software and the source codes are used. The program developer can be protected from fraud by the software escrow. The development process is very tricky because it takes months, days and even years and they a lot that a long time to be completed. It is important the licensor and the licensee knows what is expected of them so that the agreement can be set for them by the software escrow. If the terms that were set are not followed by either of the parties that the escrow agent can take action according to what was agreed. Before signing the contract it is important that you read and understand its terms and conditions that are presented to you carefully.
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What to Consider When Looking for Telecommunications Services The internet is always an important thing in our day to day lives, meaning that, it is crucial to everything which we get to do, therefore, you will find that within organizations, it is the best means to making sure that they can be connected with the outer world, in this case, it will involve a lot of parties, one of them being the market, this will make sure that the organization can be able to know of all the market trends. Therefore, you will find that for an organization, having internet access is a must and it is also beneficial, meaning that, the organization will be able to also gain access to most information, meaning that, it is easier to make sure that any information which has been accessed is credible, likewise, getting to look into the market will make sure that an organization can be able to make better strategies which will ensure that they get a competitive edge. To obtain all this information, internet access will have to be available, which means that, for any organization, they will be able to look for the best service provider to ensure that they can have internet access, for those who might not know what to look for, it will be a simple task since the speed, and also some reliability is all that you need to know, this will make sure that it all gets to work to your favor.
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Which means that, there will be a few things to look for, the first being the speeds, this is always crucial since with an internet service provider, the speeds do matter, also this will get to determine the price, in an organization, you will find that there will be multiple users, this means that they all need to have a faster internet connectivity so that they can be able to do their work appropriately.
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Therefore, you also will have to look at their reliability, this means that you will need to look at which service provider is more reliable than the others, reliability will be in light of consistency with their speeds and also the availability of quick responses which will be able to make sure that you get to minimize the instances of downtime within your organization. Eventually, you will get to find that it will be much easier getting to find someone or a service provider who can make sure that you attain the best services and also that you get all that you would need, this will make sure that you can connect with your clients better since your servers or even websites will have to downtime meaning they get to work all the time.
Finding the Right Type of Ceiling Insulation
It is paramount that one installs the right kind of ceiling insulation because the correct insulation can drastically reduce the electricity bills of heating and cooling the house. Insulation would also make your home warm and comfortable and also create a steady in-house atmosphere in addition to reducing our home’s energy consumption.
In order to choose the correct insulation, one needs to check the R-value of the insulating material. The purpose of insulation is to prevent gaining heat on a hot day and trapping the warmth during cold conditions and is measured by the R-value. The R-value is the measure of how competently an insulator resists the transfer of heat between surfaces. This value fluctuates depending on the nature, density and thickness of the material used. Therefore, a material with a high R-value will be more efficient than a material with a low R-value.
There are several different types of insulation materials with the most common ones being foam, fiberglass and cellulose. There are also a range of insulation types ranging from loose fill, batts, spray board, vapor barriers, and rolls with rolls being the most ideal for ceiling floors. To determine the type of insulation required, one needs to consider the existing insulation and the desired R-value.
One is also advised to install vapor barriers in the outer frame of the house to prevent accumulation of moisture in the ceiling. If this measure is not adhered to and the moisture is allowed to circulate freely on the inside and outside of the ceiling, the moisture will weaken the insulation material and make it lose its R-value. Furthermore, mold and rot will develop over time which will adversely lower the strength of the house frame.
In calculating the amount of insulation required, you will need to determine whether your house is already insulated, measure the total area that requires insulation and decide on the best type of insulation to use.
In the event that you have pre-installed insulation, gauge its industrial standards by looking at its R- value with the higher R-value promising better performance. Next, one needs to measure the length and width of the area requiring insulation and multiply the two measurements to get the square footage of the ceiling.
When determining the type of insulation used, bear in mind that fiberglass insulation is assessed by the number of rolls required and can be installed by the homeowner hence saving on labor costs. On the flipside, blown-in insulation, though not tedious, requires specialized equipment and may turn out to be a little more expensive than fiberglass. During insulation, remember to insulate the outer walls and crawl spaces too as these spaces are most vulnerable to heat transfer.
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The Essential Things to Take into Consideration About Disaster Preparedness
All of the people notwithstanding their current situation must be knowledgeable about disaster preparedness. Be sure that you don’t think that a disaster whether it is natural or manmade is not able to harm you. No one is exempted to experiencing the dangers that disasters can cause. It is important that you know a lot of disaster preparedness tips in order to assist you to survive to any disaster situations. Now, in the compass of this article, we can’t talk about all of the disaster preparedness tips one by one. There are just a great deal of tips, on the other hand, we will only be tackling about the more important ones.
1. First of all, the most important tip is to make certain that you and your family has already planned a communication scheme like family disaster plan. This can be placed together in a lot of means, on the other hand, one of the most vital is to make sure that there is at least one family member of friend who lives far away that all of you can be contacted in case that you lose the communication with each other.
2. Make sure that you are aware of all the routes for emergency evacuation as they pertain to your workplace and community.
3. Make sure that you know how to shut down all of the utilities such as water, electricity and particularly gas.
4. Make certain that you have an emergency survival kit or package in place for every member of your family that has at least enough supplies like medications, blankets, clothing, water, food and etc that could last for at least 72 hours or more.
5. And also, be certain that you have cash on hand since it is most likely that the ATM will not be working or the credit card terminals in case that a number of stores are still open.
6. This one must be a total must. Make sure that you spend some of your time to join trainings about CPR techniques and first aids. And it is certainly worth it to spend some of your time learning on how you can save your life or even someone else’s life.
7. Be certain to set a meeting place or a reunion point designated for all of your household or family members to gather at.
8. Be certain that you understand that there are particular forms of disasters that are more inclined to taking placing in certain areas and locations. As a result, be sure to know what prone to happen in your place.
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Benefits of Solar Roof Vents Do you want a solution that won’t increase your electricity bill every quarter? Solar roof vents, like whirly birds, extract the hot air from your roof. But instead of relying on wind power, they use solar energy with the punch of 15 whirlybirds combined. Below are the advantages of using solar roof vents in your home: Cooler Summers
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If you’ve ever stayed in your kitchen with your oven turned on, you’re aware that the heat can leak to other areas of your home, thereby increasing its general temperature. If you install a solar roof vent, you can pull down your roof temperature by a maximum of 30? Centigrade, in turn decreasing the heat in your living areas by as much as of 6 degrees. Free Operation and Lower Air Conditioning Costs
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Roof-ducted air conditioning systems are considerably affected by 70? Centigrade roof temperatures in terms of their efficiency and performance. The hot air in your roof increases the temperature of the cool air that runs through air conditioning roof duct pipes. Significantly reducing your roof temperature helps counter this loss. As your home’s general temperature goes down, the solar roof vent helps ease your air conditioner’s work load and may even make it unnecessary to run. You will definitely enjoy big savings, what with soaring electricity prices these days. Best of all, since the vent generates power from the sun, you practically have zero running costs for the solar roof vent. Minimal Condensation Build Up The solar roof vent helps in the prevention of mold and condensation buildup in your roof, a common occurrence in hot and humid areas. It dramatically reduces the possibility of mold spore growth in the roof space, improving your home’s air quality and keeping related health issues at bay. The solar roof vent doesn’t only make your home more comfortable, but also much healthier and safer too. Appealing Features A solar roof vent has the total power of 15 whirly birds, but can you envision your house having that number of whirly birds? These vents can look quite attractive, and with the advantages they offer, most people would not think twice getting one for their home. Not to mention they have whisper quiet operational noise, thanks to their brushless DC motor and polycarbonate fan blades. After installing the vent, you will almost never notice its presence. Auto Shut Off Under 24? Centigrade If you’re like some people, you may think solar roof vents are made only for homes or structures in warmer parts of the globe. These vents actually have a built in automatic thermostat that automatically shuts them when they are not needed. That means the fan will simply stop working when the temperature decreases lower than 24? Centigrade, allowing any beneficial heat in the roof space to remain trapped during colder times.
Working From Home – The Most Comfortable Working Experience
Perhaps you have already heard about online jobs and the nature of the said job is that you are going to work online, regardless of where you are, even at the comfort of your own home and so far, most of those who have online jobs are claiming that it is by far the most fulfilling and the most rewarding experience they have. As a matter of fact, if you may not know it, there are actually lots of individuals out there or even business owners who are taking care of their businesses from their home. Many claim that working from home is one of the best thing that has happened to them since they need not have to worn themselves out working since they can just comfortably manage their business at home as they have the freedom to set their hours of work and even create marketing materials for their business at home. We all know that out family is of utmost importance and will always be at the top of out priority list and because of this, if you own a business, it would be best for you to just work from the comfort of your home as you can schedule your days around the lifestyle of your family.
Speaking of working at home in comfort, it does not mean that you will be working wearing your pajamas or perhaps your sweatshirt, what it mean is that you are at home for the sake of your family. Working in comfort only means that you are doing the thing that you are so passionate about since doing what you love to do, what comes together with hat is your skill set, your gifts, your talents, and even the great ability that you have when it comes to setting up a home based business that is profitable and phenomenal.
Working from home also means that you working for yourself and when you work for yourself, you are breaking through the ceiling of doing things your own way and incorporating all the ideas that you have into your own business, guaranteeing that your business will attain success that is long-lasting. Being your own boss only means that you get to design your business the way you want it to be, you get to schedule your hours of work around the lifestyle of your family, putting all the systems in place that only you know about will certainly help your business survive, no matter what challenges will come or may come.
When you have your own business and you are working from your home, this means that there will be no cap on how much you will be earning every single day, every single week, every single month or even every single year.
What Environmental Compliance Is All About Environmental compliance is fast becoming a recognized term in building industry and also in the public sector, and is having an increasing impact on the way that big companies do their business. For those who haven’t come across this term before, it’s all about conforming to regulations environmental legislation, standards and any requirements concerning the environment. It’s clear therefore that with the rise and strengthening of environmental regulations and standards, environmental compliance profile has been raised. Now almost every big company must consider their impact on the environment and make changes accordingly. In the coming years we are able to expect this to filter down to small businesses and laws become even stricter. Generally, compliance to environmental problems involves reducing the quantity of energy used, using greener sources of energy (for example renewable energy) and reducing emissions. If a company or organization reaches a particular degree of energy savings etc, they may be awarded an energy certification, including an IPPC and DEC/EPD or they may embrace the EN 16001 standard.
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Energy saving is not only compliance through getting standards and certifications; it as well as to do with your customers. Consumers are more and more conscious of environmental issues and they expect businesses to be active in reducing emissions and using energy that is sustainable. Even though a company hasn’t got to a standard just yet, establishing targets for energy saving and revealing an optimistic obligation to the environmental surroundings is commendable and is likely to be seen by your clients. You may even get your clients involved with your attempts by encouraging them to go green – for instance, by supporting them to reuse carrier bags.
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Also, being commitment to environmental compliance could also help you save money. Refining the way you use energy and enhancing the efficiency of your operation could allow you to reduce your energy bills, saving you cash monthly. You might also get a means of recycling a byproduct of your operation and turning into energy – by taking advantage of something that previously had no use, saving you money as well. Working towards environmental compliance and embarking on energy saving is a rewarding endeavor for almost any company or organization. You might find it helpful to employ a professional company to help you pinpoint places in which you can conserve energy and finally save cash. The key to being successful in complying with the ever-changing world of environmental regulations would be to at all times be informed and updated. This might mean seeking assistance from a professional firm that provides environmental consulting services among other services. As laws changes you are in need of an alternative which has the capacity to change as well.
How To Choose An ERP Consultant For A Project Trying to get the best ERP consultant for a company takes time because there are so many options to investigate and many hours of hard work comparing the choices but the hard work is worth it because a good ERP consultant can make or break the ERP project. A great consultant can make it easier to choose an ERP system and ensure that the implementation process goes on as smoothly as possible, but the wrong ERP consultant can make every aspect of the project much harder than it needs to be and they can delay the time taken to implement the ERP software. It is vital to know the ERP vendor that the person is buying from and make sure that the information listed on the ERP company’s website is accurate and this can be done by checking the profile of the consultant on a popular networking site or by doing an online search. It is good to state that the client needs to find out if the company is involved in any lawsuits and the client can ask the company to provide references and then confirm if they can call the past customers. The years of experience the ERP consultant also matters, and this can be determined by asking the firm how many projects the employees they have been involved over the years and the kinds of projects that they have worked on as well. Every consultant has their weaknesses and strengths and the potential client needs to analyze the skill sets that each worker has that will determine which candidate will be the right fit for the needs of the business. Some consultants specialize in various areas like ERP implementation, ERP selection, or just fine-tuning the business process and even though this process does not mean that the consultant is not experienced and qualified in many areas but it is always a good idea to know their weaknesses and strengths before making a decision.
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ERP firms specialize in many things thus it is helpful to look for a company that has experience working with businesses in the same industry as the client operates in and this will make sure that the person does not run into any unforeseen issues during the implementation process. The client has to check with the enterprise resource planning firm to see if they can get references from their current customers and the client can ask if the individual can contact some of those references and the person needs to assess what size of companies they typically work with.6 Facts About Services Everyone Thinks Are True