Even with the convenience of social media, it’s no exaggeration to say that you still need to grow and look after your list if you want to make some big bucks. This is a need that all businesses have and so it’s no wonder that there are plenty of services to choose from. But what works for one business might not work for your company. Some work better for companies that send a ton of emails and others for small to mid-sized businesses.
Campaign Monitor is a service if you’re running a small to medium size B2C business. Like others in this space, it’s a web app that comes with email marketing tools to craft personalised emails and newsletters for your customers. It also has tools that help with your marketing such as analytics and segmentation.
In 2004, Dave Greiner, founded Campaign Monitor to help small to medium size businesses with their email marketing. It has grown to serve 250’000+ companies all over the world.
Pros and cons of Campaign Monitor
As a cloud-based web app, Campaign Monitor is a typical software as a service tool. You don’t own and install the application but pay a monthly fee to use it. But everything is taken care of for you and you don’t need to worry about updates.
With Campaign Monitor, you can design personalised emails with its drag-and-drop email editor. It comes with a choice of prebuilt templates to help you get started. It allows you to capture contact and segment your mailing list. You can set up split test to optimise the performance of your campaigns. It gives you analytics for you to design your next campaign or for reporting to your team and supervisor.
- No-frills and intuitive interface
- Versatile and flexible
- Email templates for different purposes
- No forever free plan (although you can try the service for free with a very limited feature set and contact list)
- If you’re using a VPN, you need to turn it off or you can’t create an account
- Limited support options, especially the lack of live chat
- You can only store up 50 data points on your customers
Who is Campaign Monitor for?
Campaign Monitor is a comprehensive email marketing solution that’s versatile and flexible. It’s easy to use and you get tools to capture contacts as well as for creating and sending out emails. If you’re new to the marketing game, it not only helps you save time with its templates but also prevents your campaigns to suffer from broken links. It also has added SMS (but sending SMS is limited to the US).
With its overall feature set, Campaign monitor covers a lot of needs a small to mid-sized business (or marketer) will need.
Campaign Monitor has a rather long list of questions, for their own marketing and to help you onboard.
Once you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll see an uncluttered and easily understandable interface.
After your first login, you’re onboarded with a quick tour. It’ll show you the most important steps before you can start sending your campaigns.
This is one of Campaign Monitor’s strengths: It has a simple, no-frills, straightforward interface where everything is clearly labelled. It makes it easy for marketing and tech novices alike to get up to speed without a steep learning curve.
The core of any email marketing tool is its combination of email builder and templates gallery. This is no different for Campaign Monitor shines. It comes with a wide choice of email templates for different purposes, such as product launches, feedback, and welcome emails. But where it shines is that you can add dynamic content. You can make your email stand out by changing the image or message based on the individual recipient. It’s the same old personalisation but put on steroids.
Thanks to its email editor, you also have your email ready in a jiffy. Simply add the elements you need. Customise and tweak the design to fit your branding.
If you choose Unlimited and Premier, you get access to nifty features. You get more scheduling options or a countdown time (pretty useful for launching products).
Sign up forms and landing pages
You get a choice of how you want to capture contacts
- Standalone forms (landing page)
- Embedded forms
It’s cool to see that you can add a subscriber to multiple lists from one sign-up form.
List management, segmentation, and personalisation
Campaign Monitor gives you sign up forms for you to grow your list. But having a large list isn’t going to bring you the big bucks. You need to target the right audience at the right time.
Campaign Monitor lets you store up to 50 data points on your customers. In other words, you can use up to 50 custom fields to segment your list for your newsletters and automation as well as drip campaigns.
I do have a niggle though: Won’t you expect the feature to segment your list under the tab for Lists & subscribers? It’s a bit strange that Campaign Monitor has tugged it into Automation. You’ll see the segments only when you’ve created one via an automation.
Autoresponders and marketing automation
Campaign Monitor is not only offering autoresponders for drip emails, you can also set up customer journeys with conditional steps.
Autoresponders are helpful if all subscribers of a certain list all get the same sequence of emails, albeit triggered at different times. These can be onboarding or re-engagement emails.
Customer journeys with conditional steps are useful when you want special events or a series of events to trigger sending an email. For example, you could send a special invitation to a subscriber who attended 3 or more of your events.
It’s quite normal that a service doesn’t offer all the features you need out of the box. To extend its feature set, it offers 250+ integration. You can so hook it up to your favourite CMS such as WordPress or the CRM you’re working with.
In case you don’t find the integration you need, you can also use its open API to create custom integrations. The API allows you to move data in and out of Campaign Monitor. You can so build custom applications that leverage Campaign Monitor’s functionality.
Campaign Monitor reporting
You get to your analytics by clicking the tab Insights. Campaign Monitor gives you the big picture of open rates, clickthroughs, and unsubscribes. You can also drill down into the history of an individual subscriber. If you want, you can see exactly what an individual user has done with your emails – opened, ignored, clicked, and when or where.
If you’re subscribed to Campaign Monitors Basic or Unlimited plan, you’ll only get email support as compared to Premier where you also pay a premium for phone support. At least your emails will be answered faster if you’ve subscribed to the Unlimited plan.
There’s also a self-service help open whatever plan you’ve chosen. It’s a pity to see live chat missing. Also, if you’re logged into your account and click on “Contact Support”, you are first taken to the self-service help centre instead of a live chat (missing) or given email address or phone number.
Campaign Monitor prices
Campaign Monitor bases its pricing on the number of contacts in your list and also on the volume. In its Basic plan ($9/month), you’re limited to sending 2500 emails a month and also have limited access to the interesting features. Its prices are at the upper end as compared to a service such as Getresponse.
Is Campaign Monitor right for you?
Campaign Monitor’s strength lies in its versatility and its templates gallery. It’s nice and easy to use so that all levels of marketers can be productive without a steep and long learning curve. That’s also thanks to it using straightforward names such as Lists or Campaigns instead of its own very special lingo.
Even if it makes working with it easy even for novice email marketers, it trails behind its competition in direct online support. In addition, it’s in the upper range with its pricing.