This is a bit of a saga, so if you don't want to read the whole story - my question is, if you use Benchmark Email how long have you used it, what plan are you on, and what has been your experience?
Now for my saga:
I cut my teeth on Aweber. I was with them for two or three years and I liked them. They double charged me for subscribers but I thought everyone did that. I didn't grow my list very big while there, and the platform was a bit limiting, but I was new and had no comparison.
I moved to MailChimp next because my coaching platform only integrated with them. Also, I was using a business coach at the time who highly recommended MailChimp. I was with them for a year, lowest paid plan. I learned alot while I was with them, and in the end realized I needed more flexibility with automations.
Four months ago I moved to ActiveCampaign. Everything was going well until a couple of weeks ago when bots started signing up to my list. No problem, I though, I'll just add a captcha to my form.
I added the captcha to my form in AC and sent my coder the embed code. She wrote me back, couldn't add the code because the captcha code was missing.
I tried again, and same result. The code wasn't being generated in AC.
I created a brand new form in AC and tried again, and again the captcha code would not generate.
I emailed support. Two days went by and I heard nothing back. I managed to get on the chat. Very frustrating the chat. I was #5 in the queue. I waited and waited. Finally I got someone. Turns out they were a sales person and they had to connect me with a support person.
So I'm added to the Queue for support. I'm #7. I wait for what seems like an eternity. I finally get someone, and as I'm typing my question the chat goes down. It's only open until 4pm Central time. It was closing time.
Next day I'm back on the chat - earlier. I get through the sales person and into support after another very long wait. I explain my problem. The guy tells me it's my coder's fault. I tell him, no, it's AC's fault as their system isn't generating the code.
He tells me the captcha works fine for him and sends me a screen shot of the form in AC. I tell him yes, it works on the AC form in AC, but the embed code is missing the captcha code.
I then ask if I can create a pop-up form - where users click a button and then the pop-up appears. I have the lowest plan, and inline forms are all that's offered.
I'm told that even on the higher plans this cannot be done. That my coder would need to do it. But my coder wants a button code, and I can't get that from AC. The chat ends.
Yesterday I went to chat again. I wait 45 minutes to be connected with support. I explain I need a captcha and their code isn't generating. After half an hour I'm told this is a development problem. The support person says he will contact development and email me when he hears from them.
Meanwhile, bots are signing up through my form. I've blocked them for now, but nobody who is a real human being is going to sign up on there. You put in your name and email and click the button, and you're taken to another form which looks spammy. That 2nd form is the form that is hosted on AC. It's what works behind my pretty website. Nobody is supposed to be able to see it.
It has stopped the bots, but it will stop the humans too. I've laid the groundwork in my business and I'm ready to grow my list. This issue is keeping me from doing that. So I need to resolve it.
I had heard many good things about ActiveCampaign before I signed up with them, and I'm very dissapointed in their lack of support.
I've looked at every alternative I can find - and they either don't fit my needs or they're too expensive.
I have a tiny list right now, but I want to grow it. I'm planning to use FB ads. I don't care about a free plan, but I can't afford $25 a month. I really can't afford $20 but I could manage that if I had to. Once my business is making money I can afford more.
I like SendLane but they're too pricey right now.
I considered MailerLite, but I think their automations might be too basic and their reviews are scary.
I'm now looking at Benchmark. They are really my last resort, but they look pretty good. If you use them, what do you think?
Thank you if you've read this far. I welcome all comments and thoughts. Any help at all is appreciated. All I wanted to do was stop the bots and grow my list. That is still my goal.