Welcome to the first in a series of mini interviews we plan on publishing in the blog over the coming weeks. Over time we’ll be bringing you more of these casual chats with the aim of giving you an insight into how others use Campaign Monitor, pitch email marketing to their clients and even charge for their services.

Hamish Stevenson

Today we’re talking to Hamish Stevenson, Managing Director of Catch Design, an innovative New Zealand based design firm who we’ve featured on more than one occasion in our email design gallery. We couldn’t think of a better customer to get the ball rolling on our designer interviews and asked Hamish a few questions about how he and his clients use Campaign Monitor, how he got into email marketing and even how he goes about charging for his services.

How did you find out about Campaign Monitor?

Catch Design

It was a good friend of mine who’s a usability guru here in Wellington. But he’s more than that, his focus is more than usability, he loves promoting the idea that websites and web-based initiatives should be a pleasurable and good experience, as opposed to a hassle and frustration. So when he suggested I check out Campaign Monitor, I never hesitated.

Were you using any email marketing tools before us? If so, how do we compare? Was it hard to move across to Campaign Monitor?

“This was our first foray into email marketing. Campaign Monitor made the experience stress free, informative and fun!”

Campaign Monitor was our first foray into email marketing. We were very much (and still are to a large degree!) a boutique web design company and I was a little reluctant to get into it really. But I have to say, the ease in which Campaign Monitor guides you through the process was extraordinary. The depth and quantity of useful information and advice goes beyond what you’d expect for free. For someone who was purely dipping my toes at first, Campaign Monitor made the experience of diving in so stress free, informative and fun!

What would you say is your favorite Campaign Monitor feature?

Mmmm, this is hard. So many: ease of use, personalization, the reporting and list management… but probably the thing I love the most is what I touched on above, the fact that Campaign Monitor is so incredibly fast and time saving is what makes this my favourite web application ever.

How do you pitch your email marketing services to your clients?

The best pitch we ever did was by sending all our clients a Christmas email newsletter towards the end of 2005. We had almost all our clients come back and say, “Wow, we want to do that!”

Beyond that, I just listen to what my clients’ are spending their time on and where they could improve. One of the biggest reasons any company should build a website and/or email newsletter is because these solutions have the ability to reduce the load on staff. A good example is, a well designed and built site, along with thought through and intelligent copywriting, should decrease the amount of incoming phone calls asking repetitive questions that could be answered easily on a website and/or newsletter. When you explain that in a coherent way to clients, almost all of them have seen the benefits of a customized email marketing campaign.

“The best pitch we ever did was by sending all our clients a Christmas email newsletter towards the end of 2005. We had almost all our clients come back and say, ‘Wow, we want to do that!'”

Aside from that, we’ve had clients who literally spend hours and hours sending out email newsletters to mailing lists of 2,000+ from Outlook!! One client recently told me she used to spend one whole day just sitting there clicking ‘Send and Receive’!

This has to be one of the biggest selling points for Campaign Monitor, the fact that you can send an email to thousands of recipients in a matter of minutes is just sensational. It saves my clients time, it heavily reduces the load on their office IT set-up (The same client often had to send their newsletters out after 5pm because sending it during the day simply crashed the entire office network! Hence, she never left the office till midnight.) and within a matter of minutes, they can see how effective their campaign was.

How do you charge your clients for your email marketing services?

There’s an initial design and build fee. Then, depending on how involved we are in each campaign, we charge for anytime spent designing and updating the email design(s), and then we charge for the set-up and delivery costs.

Has Campaign Monitor impacted the way you design your emails?

Yes and no. Mainly no. Campaign Monitor is so customizable that I can’t see any design we’d come up with not work within your software. Campaign Monitor is so flexible that there’s no need to be restricted to any style or layout.

In saying that, Campaign Monitor has been brilliant in offering regular ideas and thoughts on best practice for design and build of newsletters. So in that respect, yes it has certainly impacted! :)

Do you use Client Report Access? If so, what has your clients feedback been?

Sure do. Yeah in general, we’ve had brilliant feedback. You always manage to find a client who can’t work things out (but they’re the clients who also struggle to use the right click on their mouse), but after a little explaining, they’re fine. Majority of our clients love the “big brother” excitement of seeing their campaigns report back in real-time.

Thanks for your time Hamish

No worries. Thanks again for such a great product guys!

From the Catch Design portfolio…

We’ve featured a number of Catch Design concepts in our email design gallery. Here’s a quick sample from their Campaign Monitor portfolio.

Soul Purpose
The X Factor
Parehau
Boomrock

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