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Product plug: Campaign Monitor

22 Nov 2004 by Jason Fried

We recently switched from Topica to Campaign Monitor to manage our email newsletters and mailing lists. We couldn’t be happier with it. If you manage a list you deserve to be happy too (cause, let’s face it, list management can bring you down). CampaignMonitor can get you there.

From the beautiful interface (they even use the Basecamp-inspired Yellow Fade Technique and Blank Slates), to the elegant reports, to the overall intuitiveness and ease-of-use so often missing in newsletter/list management software (including most web-based solutions), we have to highly recommend giving them a look.

Plus they have an interesting pricing model. There’s no monthly fee — it’s just pay per use ($5 plus a penny per recipient). Neat idea.

Finally, they built this product because they needed it. And when people build products that they 1. need, and 2. know, and 3. care about, they always yield better experiences. Do check them out.

10 comments so far (Post a Comment)

22 Nov 2004 | Coudal said...

I second the motion.

22 Nov 2004 | Dave Strus said...

It's nice that you're flattered (as opposed to offended or moved to litigation) by the 37signals-esque aspects of their interface.

22 Nov 2004 | cjs. said...

I've been using them for a few months now and couldn't be happier (thanks to the ad on Coudal). Definitely check them out.

22 Nov 2004 | Brad Hurley said...

And when people build products that they 1. need, and 2. know, and 3. care about, they always yield better experiences.

How true. People who create products that they need themselves are thinking and acting like their customers. They don't have to rely on focus groups or marketing surveys to figure out what features they need or what pitfalls to avoid.

On a related note, in today's Alertbox Jakob Nielsen writes:

In the physical world, you win by being big, with economies of scale in manufacturing, worldwide distribution, and branding. Most of these benefits accrue even if you're mediocre, and in fact, you usually benefit from targeting the lowest common denominator.
In the virtual world, you win by being good: Automation reduces the benefits of scale, the Internet equalizes distribution, and reputation follows from quality rather than incessantly repeated slogans.

23 Nov 2004 | Michael Moncur said...

Thanks, that looks like it will be useful for some of my minor newsletters and marketing stuff.

I also have some incredibly popular lists that use Topica and I'd love to get them off Topica, but this won't work. (It would cost over $400 a day.)

23 Nov 2004 | kageki said...

holy crap that's expensive!

23 Nov 2004 | Ak said...

This may seem expensive if you're sending massive amounts of email all the time. If you're a periodic updated, like the web-designer market that they are going after, this is dirt cheap:

If I knew I would be sending 1 mailing / month to 100 subscribers, that would be $5 + (100 x .01) = $6 x 12 months = $72 / year

If this turned out to be weekly:
$5 + (100 x. 01) = $6 x 4weeks = $24 x 12 months = $288 / year

Now will they accept payments through Paypal?

23 Nov 2004 | Michael Spina said...

Does anyone know of a good, simple open-source system? Our programmer has been looking for one for some very low volume site-update newsletters for our clients, and we'd rather not pay for the service when we can handle the bandwidth and low volume of lists.

Seems like most of ones we've found are over-complicated and do everything except what we need them to do.

23 Nov 2004 | Mark said...

Michael -

I tried Mach Mailer not too long ago. It's not open-source, but it is a local solution. You one-time purchase the software (I believe it's $99 U.S.) and download. It then sends HTML / text-based email from your ISP. It manages the database, subscribes, bounces...

Generally, it seems like a good solution, granted your ISP doesn't restrict you too much. It didn't work out for me because I was sending out more email than my RoadRunner account would allow at once.

24 Nov 2004 | kageki said...

If you're sending a meager 1 email / month to 100 people - why do you need a "campaign manager" for such small demand?

The services they offer (reporting, list cleaning, etc.) don't show much real value until you're sending a critical mass of mailings, and by that point you're deep into the pockets.


I realize that just because I can install an open source mailing package on my dedicated server, send as much mail as i want, and still pay less than some people's cell-phone bills, doesn't mean everyone can or should. But even Micro$soft's over priced, underperforming bCentral service beats the pants off of 1 cent/ email pricing scheme. I don't think the seemingly better conceived and constructed interface merits the much higher cost.


2 decent open source packages:
Dada Mail

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