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Four years ago this week was the official launch of Campaign Monitor, the email marketing web application aimed specifically at web designers. Today we wanted to look back at the beginnings of Campaign Monitor and some of the highlights of the last 4 years. We also want to give huge thanks to everyone who has used Campaign Monitor, given us suggestions, built extensions and plugins and mentioned us to their friends, clients and colleagues. Campaign Monitor: Origins The need for Campaign Monitor to be built came out of frustration with existing email marketing tools that were restrictive on design, or added ‘branding’ into the footer, or was just painful to use. Originally built as an internal tool for a web design agency, it was soon clear that plenty of other web designers had the same problems. In October of 2004, Campaign Monitor was released to the public. Focusing on the web design market was clearly shown to be the right choice, since we understood the needs of designers and could target features towards them. Soon there were some high profile fans helping to spread the word. Since that time, the Freshview team has grown from 3 people up to 14, and the number of Campaign Monitor customers has skyrocketed into the tens of thousands all over the world. Faster, stronger, better The Campaign Monitor of 2004 was intentionally clean, simple and minimalistic in approach. The simplicity of use has been the most commonly mentioned part of the Campaign Monitor experience for all the customers we’ve talked to, and the team has worked hard to maintain that while adding a host of new features. Some Campaign Monitor statistics The email marketing business is all about numbers: Open rates, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, replies…here are a few numbers relating to the usage of Campaign Monitor itself. 1 paid email campaign sent October 1st, 2004 1213 paid email campaigns sent yesterday 3780 campaigns sent by just one long time Campaign Monitor user 513 comments on the infamous ‘Outlook 2007’ post (and counting) 1 month to reach our first 100 customers 1 day (typically) to add 100 new customers 98% highest open rate of any campaign to 100 or more people Behind all those fantastically designed email newsletters has been a lot of hard work from our team. We’ve gone back through our archives and calculated some ‘behind the scenes’ numbers to give you an idea what we’ve been up to. 689 bugs squashed 756 updates and improvements pushed live 624 blog posts 1213 staff posts in the forum The future So what’s going to happen over the next four years? We don’t release roadmaps at Freshview, we prefer to maintain our flexibility so we can do what needs doing as it turns up. However, over the next few months we’ve got some big improvements coming (if you were at Web Directions you might have had a sneak peek), so keep reading the blog for the latest news. Happy Birthday, Campaign Monitor!
We’re always looking for new ways to connect with all you guys and girls who use Campaign Monitor – in our business it is easy for us to never hear from you at all, let alone actually meet and connecting with you. Although you have told us we have a great support team, it would be disappointing if the only time we got to connect was when something had gone wrong! So we always keep an eye out for other ways to get your feedback, share ideas and suggestions and just have a bit of fun. Part of that is attending web conferences like Web Directions and Web Visions, excellent environments to catch up in. We’ll be at Web Directions South in Sydney too, definitely come find us if you are attending. Some other options for connecting with us individually or as a company: Visit the Campaign Monitor forums Follow CampaignMonitor on Twitter Read the occasional Freshview blog post to find out about the team Be a fan of Campaign Monitor on Facebook The idea is that the more ways web designers have to interact with us, the more likely we’ll be to understand what you all need from Campaign Monitor and Freshview now and in the future. As an added incentive, we’ll be giving away some cool prizes in the next few months to people using all these different ways of getting in contact, and you’ve got to be in it to win it!
I don’t know about you but I always love getting a peek into how other people work. It’s always interesting seeing the real space people are spending their time in at the other end of the pipe. I recently put together a post on the Freshview blog about our new office space and why we approached it the way we did. It won’t make you a better designer or email marketer, but will definitely give you a sneak peek behind the scenes at the people working hard to make Campaign Monitor the best email tool for designers. On top of the voyer value, many of our customers are also growing software and other web-related companies. The post goes into a little detail about how we’ve tried to create the best environment possible for developers, and what the results have been so far. Hopefully some of the lessons we’ve learned over the years can come in handy at your end too. If anyone has photos of their own workplace, make sure you share them in the comments. If you like the way we do things and feel the need to experience sunny Sydney, we’ve still got 4 positions open right now.
Read all about our new office fit-out, and why we think closed offices are the…
After just completing a mammoth office fitout and a big move into more space, we’re looking for a number of new people to join the Freshview team. This is a pretty cool opportunity for anyone interested in shaping the future of 2 award winning (and much-loved) web applications used by tens of thousands of fellow designers. I like to think we offer a pretty awesome work environment – free catered lunches, near the beach, private offices, and lots of other fun stuff. We’ve been holding out on making this announcement until the move into our shiny new premises was complete, but now we’re all settled and really need some more hands on deck. Here are the new positions we’ve opened up: Designer and customer support legend System Administrator Senior Developer Mid-level tester Office Manager/Bookkeeper If you’re interested, we’ve written a little about what it’s like working at Freshview. If you’re not a good match but know someone who is, please help us out by passing the position on to them. All of these positions are for our Sydney office, but if you’re the right match and interested in moving to sunny Sydney, we’d be happy to sponsor you. It’s actually a pretty easy process these days – just ask Bob, our new QA Engineer who we moved here from Canada.
We’ve just launched the splash page for the new Email Standards Project website at email-standards.org, which is the future location of a lot of news and resources relating to our push for consistent, reliable web standards support for email. You can enter your email address to be notified when the full site launches, sometime in November. If you’d like to help out with the Email Standards Project, then watch the blog here, and join the Facebook group because we’ll be suggesting some ways you could contribute. Visit the Email Standards Project website.
Over the last few days we have been implementing a brand new load balancing system for both Campaign Monitor and MailBuild to keep things purring along even faster and add another layer of redundancy to our network. Unfortunately, a change related to that upgrade last night unexpectedly caused a problem that meant some of you guys were unable to access your campaigns or import new ones over a period of several hours. First things first, these errors did not affect any of your sent campaigns, reporting or subscribe forms, so your subscribers wouldn’t have noticed a thing. As soon as the issue was spotted our team resolved it. Please accept our sincere apologies for this unacceptable outage, we certainly understand how frustrating this would have been for many of you. Thanks also to the many customers who were kind enough to bring this to our attention as soon as they spotted it, we appreciate it.
Right now we’re working on the new website for the email standards push that kicked off recently. That site will include a section on how you as a web designer can get involved and help improve the situation. One simple step you can take right now, if you are a Facebook user, is to join our Email Standards Project Facebook Group. It’s a really fast and easy way for you to show some support for what we are all trying to do, and it will also help us connect with people who might be helpful. The recently crowned King of Web Standards, Jeffrey Zeldman, has joined already, saying “I hope all standardistas on Facebook will join in this effort”. We’d love to see you there. Join the Email Standards Project group on Facebook.
Apologies for the short notice, but we’ll be taking the Campaign Monitor application offline for a total of 8 hours between 8.30pm this Saturday night and 4.30am Sunday morning (US Central time – see this in your own time zone) to make some key hardware upgrades and add some additional layers of redundancy to both Campaign Monitor and MailBuild. Don’t worry, the maintenance will have zero impact on your subscribe forms or campaign tracking, everything will purr along as usual – you just won’t be able to log into your account. If you’ve scheduled any campaigns to be delivered in this time-frame, they’ll be sent as soon as the application is back online. Update: The updates have been completed successfully and as of 12.30am we’re back online. Thanks for your patience everyone.
It’s been a busy year for the Freshview team, which I guess can happen with more than 1,500 new customers signing up to our apps each month. Still, I think we’ve managed pretty well for a full-time team of 5 (there were 3 of us less than 6 months ago). The job’s never done though, and we’ve got some pretty big ideas on how we can make Campaign Monitor and MailBuild loads better. To do that, we need to find more super talented people to join our team. As of today, we’ve got 3 new positions available at the Freshview office in Sydney, and a fourth available for someone to help out from the US or Canada. For those interested, you can read a little more about what it’s like working for us and check out the official lineup below: Quality Assurance Engineer Senior .NET Developer System Administrator US/Canada Based Customer Support Legend None of these are incredibly urgent and we’re a pretty fussy bunch, but we’re putting them out there now realizing we might not find the perfect person overnight. If you think you’re a good match or know anyone who might be interested, please let us know.
Campaign Monitor was unavailable from between 12.20pm and 4pm today due to a problem with the surveillance on our server. Our HUGE apologies for this and any inconvenience it might have caused. The system is running smoothly again now and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Update: While the application itself was unavailable, all subscribe forms, client extranets and campaign tracking was unaffected. Your subscribers and clients wouldn’t have missed a beat. And no, while the timing was terrible, this wasn’t a bad April Fools joke!
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