Quick and dirty review of Campaign Monitor.
We all have that friend who still drinks like they’re 21. You know, the suck down 3 well tequila shots and wash it back with a Michelob Ultra type of person? I have a friend like that. He makes a hell of a good living selling luxury houses, but when it comes to selling him a drink, it better be Embassy Suites Manager’s Reception cheap.
On his most recent visit to my city, we took a Saturday afternoon to hit the classic booze sites. After a few hours, some friendly backslapping bullshit, and an ensemble of solid middle-shelf alcoholic beverages, I could only hope we left his cheap ghost sitting in one of those bars.
Last week I got a text from him simply stating, “you were right” accompanied by a photo of him holding a Moscow mule.
I finally helped him realize how good it can be if you move from that bottom-shelf flavor to a solid middle-shelf option. It’s a big step up in quality, but not top-shelf.
If you’re reading this, it’s because you too have realized you need to stop using the cheap stuff for your email marketing. No more freemium accounts or renewing trial periods—it’s time to stop drinking at the free hotel happy hour of email marketing.
This is Campaign Monitor—the elevated marketing software for small to mid-size businesses looking to send emails that sell like speakeasies during prohibition.
This is a marketing cocktail that will have you slinging messages with ease, and build a following bigger than hard seltzers. With a complete email marketing suite that includes robust automation, customer personalization, and over 250+ apps and integrations, it’s got plenty for you to experiment with—as long as you’re willing to pay for a decent drink.
Campaign Monitor flaunts three different plans (Basic, Unlimited, Premier) all of which are tailored to contact list size. I’ll tell you now, this is really solid middle-shelf software. If you’re going to kick it with Campaign Monitor, you should start with their Unlimited plan, which will run you $60/mo for 2.5k contacts and unlimited emails. Say your list is 5k, you’re going to end up paying $100/mo on this plan. For those with a craving for first-class marketing, their Premier plan costs $149/mo for 5k contacts and $249/mo for 1ok.
If you’re a brand with a craving for a really nice middle-shelf marketing concoction, Campaign Monitor might just be your
Now for the beefy breakdown of Campaign Monitor.
Campaign Monitor is the parent brand of the CM group founded in 2017. As a collection of marketing technologies, the CM group has six separate brands, all of which bring elite marketing into the fold for the everyday hustlers.
One is Campaign Monitor’s sister, Emma—she focuses on restaurants and universities who need killer emails. I wrote a cheeky little review about her as well, in case you had a friend who just started a taco truck or backyard beer operation.
As the parent brand, Campaign Monitor runs the show at CM group. With over 250,000 customers, they empower eCommerce moguls, creative craftsmen, and digital breadwinners across the world.
To be candid, they dabble in everything, and they have a client list to prove it. Let me name drop a few for you:
- Flume (Entertainment): email released album that landed #8 on Billboard Top 200 using Campaign Monitor.
- Birchbox (Retail): helped grow an emerging brand to a make-up and cosmetic giant via subscription service.
- Morning Brew (Media and Publishing): hits 1.8 million inboxes with a daily 5-minute newsletter.
- Australian Red Cross: doubled campaign results, with a 68% increase in open rate and a 75% increase in conversions.
Good marketers know good numbers when they see them, and those are some damn good numbers.
Before you start to dismantle your office looking for your checkbook, you should know that Campaign Monitor is going to cost you an arm and a leg, and probably your other arm too.
How much does Campaign Monitor Cost?
Campaign Monitor’s pricing structure parallels that of many other email marketing services—the bigger the list, the bigger the bill. But, they also offer three distinct plans within these parameters: Basic, Unlimited, or Premier services.
I’ll say it now to clear the air; unless your contact list is under 500 subscribers, don’t opt-in for their Basic plan. As you begin to scale, the cost rises dramatically without any additional features.
For those who are dishing out emails to 2.5k contacts, both their Unlimited and Premier plans are better suited for your needs. The Unlimited is going to run you roughly $60/mo and Premier around $150/mo to send as many emails as your fingers can type out.
Anyone playing in the 10k contact range, you should really get their Premium plan, as it has additional features like prebuilt engagement segments and advanced link tracking. If you do so, you’re going to fork over $250/mo in return for some personalized and powerful service.
Here are some shots of their pricing for those who are visually inclined.
It’s clear, Campaign Monitor is more expensive than most of its competitors, but when it comes to features, it’s got them by the throat. Here’s where you keep reading because the juicy stuff is coming up.
Features of Campaign Monitor.
Campaign Monitor serves all you drag-and-drop fans with a simple and intuitive builder that allows you to set brand standards. Whether it’s a welcome email or shipping confirmation, you can import dynamic video content into any of the 250+ templates and deliver it to any kind of device. For bold brands making business happen in the inbox, you can send personalized transactional emails to your best customers.
With their sturdy automation, you can trigger VIP offers, reminders, and re-engagement campaigns that keep your digital disciples connected to your brand. One caveat to this tool is that you cannot add new emails to a customer journey upon import.
Connect with your website and eCommerce platform to pull customer data into Campaign Monitor, then use it to drive personalized messaging to each one of your subscribers. Did you say half your subscribers are in the PST and the others are in EDT? Relax, all campaigns can be set to each contact’s local time so that everyone gets your cocktail glass promo with their morning coffee. Similarly, you can use A/B split testing to determine which subject lines and content to send to each segment.
Contacts & Segmentation
Great data is rendered useless without taking action. Campaign Monitor makes it easy as hell to create personalized contacts, plug them into segments, and ping inboxes with timely and captivating content. Where they earn their stripes is their ability to let you send emails to multiple segments or lists at once—which many of those other guys can’t do.
Sign-Up Forms & Landing Pages
Between Campaign Monitor’s subscribe buttons, embedded forms, and landing pages, accumulating a digital clan is child’s play. On the other hand, the landing page builder lacks the eclectic capabilities their email builder has and creating your own requires some coding knowledge most everyday plebeians lack.
Most email tools give you the standard grouping of analytics: opens, clicks, subscriptions, conversions. Campaign Monitor doesn’t even play in the same arena. Offering up individual contact information, they give you a clear look at each contact interaction with every email ever sent. Just when you thought subscriber stalking couldn’t go further, they let you monitor all activity from any device or tablet.
Apps & Integrations
If you’re in the business of stacking bills online, Campaign Monitor has a noble list of eCommerce juggernauts like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce.
One thing we like to do at SaaS Mule is give you the dirty, saas-grabbing details. You know, the stuff those “other” reviews won’t talk about. Here’s the scoop:
- The Send-Time optimization feature in their premium plan is a huge bonus for its cost. It allows you to set and forget emails, letting your automation send them at the most optimal time for each customer based on their open history.
- Their split testing is relatively limited compared to other services. You can only really test subject line, sender, and content against one other draft. Solutions like GetResponse, let users test up to 5 drafts and Mailchimp even 8.
- Data importing is relatively simple with Campaign Monitor, but quickly becomes a hassle splitting them into segments. Once the data is imported to a list, you are not given the ability to add new information to the customer journey.
Who Campaign Monitor is for.
The small to medium business that has outgrown their low-tier (or free) plan and needs a tool that can handle sending a lot of emails for a set cost.
For brands slinging 5-figure email numbers every month, this lets you send emails that hit like a double-shot of digital Jagermeister.
Who Campaign Monitor is not for.
Larger brands who can pay for the largest list of features on the market. You need every bell and whistle and you’re willing to pay for it. I know you still want to flash your wallet so you should read about Hubspot.
If you’re a small brand that wants the easiest and cheapest option. You should consider something like Email Octopus.
Consider Campaign Monitor if you’re in the business of sending emails and you want to elevate your game. For the cost, you can find other solutions that have a few more selective features, but for those who are ready to step up to a solid middle-shelf option, you should give Campaign Monitor a try.