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Designer Interviews: Fresh Tilled Soil

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“Hands down, the Best User Experience of Any Newsletter Service”

After playing with both Campaign Monitor and MailBuild, I have to say you guys have, hands down, the best user experience of any newsletter service out there. Gilbert Wilson , Council for a Livable World

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Designer Interviews: Catch Design

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. 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? 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.

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“A Dream Come True for Agencies”

In my opinion Campaign Monitor truly canes the competition out there, it’s cheaper, easier, and for agencies it’s a dream come true. Ben Pujji, Pujji like Gucci

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“Exactly What I’ve Been Looking For!”

I’ve scoured the web for a decent email list manager, tried many of them and they are too complicated or too expensive. Campaign Monitor is exactly what I’ve been looking for! It’s so simple to use – it guides you through the steps in a simple, clear manner and is so visually appealing, which greatly helps usability. James Cowen, NippleCripple.com

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E-Commerce and Email Marketing, an Interview

I recently did a short interview with Varien, an awesome Los Angeles based e-commerce developer and happy customer of ours. The interview was put together for their excellent blog on all things e-commerce, and focused on the role of email marketing for those selling online. If you’re selling products over the web, there are a few bits in the interview worth checking out.

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“Hands-Down the BEST Email Application on the Market”

Campaign Monitor is hands-down the BEST email application on the market. I’ve used multiple email apps over the years, and nothing compares to the simplicity and ease of use that comes with CM. Nothing. Hash, White African

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“An Amazing Product… Idiot Proof and Rock Solid”

I must say, you people have developed an amazing product. Its so easy to set up and the whole process is idiot proof and rock solid. Michael Mulvey, The Combustion Chamber

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“One of Those Rare and Perfect Web Apps”

“I’m blown away by your service. Campaign Monitor is one of those rare and perfect web apps. I’ve used Constant Contact for clients, and it was so painful that I cringed every time I logged into it. I just ran my first campaign — I had a last minute, time-sensitive campaign need and I managed to design, test, re-test, consolidate our opt-in lists, customize our subscription form, and mail it out in half a day.” “I’m addicted to your reporting and your fast, intuitive interface. I’ve learned so much about how people respond to email campaigns from this. I am confident my future campaigns will be even more meaningful and useful to my subscribers. Many thanks for making such a useful and user-friendly service.” Rebecca Taylor, Founder – Velo la Source Cycling Adventures

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“One of the Best Web Applications I’ve Ever Used”

“I just wanted to say that we’re so impressed with everything about Campaign Monitor. It has to be one of the best web applications I’ve ever used. It’s beautifully designed (people in our office love the reports) and I can tell that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the user experience. It works beautifully. Oh and the support is excellent too! Congratulations. “ Mark Bennett, CABE

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“A Complete Realization of My Wish List”

“I have been using GotMarketing Campaigner for almost 4 years now and I was finally fed up with the shortcomings of their system (there are many). In desperation I signed up 10 days ago to use Constant Contact, even though I have no need for their template support. Then I found Campaign Monitor. Your system is a complete realization of my wish list. So far it has worked beautifully (first campaign went out this morning). I’m looking forward to doing many more campaigns with you. Thanks!” Craig Miller, Ithaka Partners

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“Nothing out There That Comes Close”

“I was so relieved when I came across your software. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I will definitely be using it for the long term. Thanks for catering for web designers – there really is nothing out there that comes close.” Rebecca Heuston, Becstudio

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