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Summary:

How do you deal with telling all your clients you’ll be on vacation, that you’re offering a new service or special rates, or any other important piece of news for that matter? What if you’d like to send out a regular e-newsletter? Without certain programming skills, […]

How do you deal with telling all your clients you’ll be on vacation, that you’re offering a new service or special rates, or any other important piece of news for that matter? What if you’d like to send out a regular e-newsletter? Without certain programming skills, it’s a challenge. And not all of us web workers are programmers.

I have a new toy, and today is Show and Tell.

campaignmonitorlogoThe company is CampaignMonitor. I looked around for easy-to-use and affordable options for sending mass html e-mails and found plans that were too expensive for my needs, or tools that required more IT knowledge than I had. I needed to send a nice-looking e-mail newsletter to members of the social network I launched because the mass e-mail feature included with the platform I use is just pathetic.

To be honest, I’ve never been so thrilled by a web app. With my new toy I can send beautiful HTML e-mails to a bunch of people at once. They have 28 templates to choose from if you can’t do the HTML yourself, but you do have to be able to do basic editing of an HTML file in the editor of your choice.

I can create different subscriber lists for different purposes. Then, once I’ve sent my e-mail, I can see who unsubscribed, who opened, who forwarded, which links within the e-mail were clicked and how many times, which e-mails bounced, and lots more. Not only is it tons of fun, it is an extraordinarily useful professional tool. Plus, it could be a revenue stream in itself; you can brand the app and offer mass-mailing services to your own clients.

I created a free account with CampaignMonitor and imported all the members’ e-mail addresses from a csv file I’d created. I then uploaded the HTML e-mail I had. CampaignMonitor let me do a test to see what the e-mail would look like in the top 18 web, desktop and mobile e-mail clients:

cm_emailclients

Once I sent the e-mail, I had access to a Reports tab that instantly showed me how my subscribers had reacted to the e-mail (and continues to provide stats today, three weeks later). I was enlightened by the results. I found out a former grad school classmate unsubscribed (to my surprise and annoyance) and I learned just how many people were interested in the contest I’d advertised; they’d clicked on the link to learn more about the prize.

I stopped sending Christmas cards several years ago, and decided to make a personal website with an annual review of what my family has done every year. Beats a form letter and I can include lots of pictures. At the end of the year, I send an e-mail to all my closest friends and family with a link pointing them to the new page. I’ve just created a kitschy, tongue-in-cheek “announcement” that I’m sending through CampaignMonitor this year instead. (I told you it was fun!)

I’m sure I’ll also be using it to send pro e-mail updates to clients, like the people I translate for, and sub-contractors, like the people who translate for me. Given the interest in branding these days, including personal branding, CampaignMonitor offers an elegant way to publicize your personal or corporate brand.

CampaignMonitor subjects every new subscriber list to their approval process in order to prevent people from using the service to send spam. They also offer incredible security so that your subscribers’ contact info is as safe as it can be.

I nearly forgot about the pricing! You pay only $5.00 per mailing plus $0.01 per recipient. By far the most reasonable option I found.

The UI is clean and intuitive, the organization of content is pretty much flawless. I could go on and on, but I suggest you just go and try it for yourself! You won’t be disappointed. (Thanks for the tip, Demian!)

  1. Interesting.

    Although, I’ve been using ymlp.com for years — by far the best in my opinion (I know, we all have them). :)

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  2. I’ve been using and recommending CM for a long time. It’s a great service and also allows you to sell a white label solution to clients that want to send their own emails based on templates you’ve loaded for them.

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  3. Hi Eric.

    Thanks for sharing this alternative. Ymlp looks good too, at first glance. I really like the pay-as-you-go aspect of CampaignMonitor rather than the monthly plan, even though ymlp’s plans look reasonable.

    Thanks again!

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  4. MailChimp.com is another good option I’ve been using for a while now. It has similar features and is also good for people (like me) who don’t send out a lot of Emails.

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  5. I’ve used a few email sending platforms and although this lacks a few of the more advanced features of others it is certainly good very powerful and easy to use!

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