Landing a new customer for your rebranded Campaign Monitor can sometimes be tricky, especially if the potential client already has a newsletter system.

One of the best ways to sell them on the idea of Campaign Monitor is by letting them actually use it for themselves, and see how easy it is. Of course, you don’t want to end up paying for their ‘test campaign’ which goes out to their entire 20,000 person list! Fortunately, there is a simple way to set up a demo account that won’t let them spend your money.

First, create a demo client (you might want to set it up with their company name to make it feel customized to them). Add a subscriber list of 5 or less people, so emails sent to that list will be free. Now you have a couple of options for how to limit this demo account.

Under ‘client settings’, you’ll want to hit ‘Edit Access and Billing’. Check the ‘Create and send their own campaigns’ box. At this point, you could simply set the client to pay for their own campaigns. So if they do decide to go ahead and send to a larger list, they’ll have to add their own card details and pay themselves.

Sometimes, this will be fine. In other cases, you may not want to allow that at all. So your other choice is to pay on their behalf. To make this work, you’ll need some email credits in your account. Once you have them, click ‘Allocate email credits’ under client settings. Now you can allocate a small number of credits to your demo client.


The key is to given them either an amount you are happy to let them spend (like the 1,000 credits above), or an amount that will only let them send free campaigns (i.e less than 500 credits). Then make sure you have selected ‘Don’t allow them to send until I allocate more credits to them’ under ‘When their credits run out’.

Now your demo client has a hard limit on how many emails can be sent. Your potential client can login, manage subscribers, send test campaigns and view reports, but not spend any money. If they try to send a larger campaign, they’ll see this message:


You can give out the details to your demo account without having to worry. We’d love to hear about how you demo Campaign Monitor to your clients, so if you have a trick you are willing to share, post a comment.

  • Tobz

    What would be really usfull is a specific demo account, with some large data in reporting. This would enable us to show potential clients some good large scale reports.

  • Wayde Christie

    I’d prefer an option to only allow them to send 5 free emails at a time.

  • Mathew Patterson

    @Wayde If you use this technique, they can only send 5 free emails at a time (just allocate them less than 500 credits).

    @tobz Thanks for the feedback

  • alexis


    I second wayde. Maybe something as “simple” as a checkbox when creating a new client where it says “test account”. and when you check it, this account can only send out 5 emails. Entirely enough for testing purposes It would be so easy to get clients to try this out. And having this option in the API (php preferrably ;) ) then, would be so sweet as well. Let them create their own test accounts when coming to your site.



  • Mathew Patterson


    Thanks for the feedback. Given that you can get the same result using the method in this post, and it would take you 30 seconds to setup, we would not prioritise that kind of change over other features and improvements at this stage.

    We’ll definitely keep it in mind though.

  • Chris

    Hi Mathew,

    I am all with Alexis on the letting potential new clients set up their own demo-accounts (very much liked you guys offer yourself on your site to us designers).

    We now have one big demo-account where everybody can just log in. It works, but it would work much better if we good automatically generate unique demo-accounts (you must know this from your own experience ;-).

    And actually, it’s more then 30 seconds to set up an individual demo (uploading a template, notifying customer that demo has been set up, etc). And at the moment, we get (in the big one-for-all demo we use) about a 100 (!) demo-users each month. Conversion would be much higher if we could give ‘m each a unique demo.

    Most important argument to let interested people set up their own demo: it’s instant gratification. If one has to request and wait for a demo, chances are interest fades away or the momentum will pass.

    Really: automated demo set-up would be a sales booster!! Think about it ;-)

  • Mathew Patterson

    Thanks Chris for the feedback.

  • Mark Walker

    Hi Guys,

    Nice update and really useful. But one stumbling block that I keep banging on about still remains. The ability to automate the inclusion of a couple of templates, even if they are just non branded generic ones. Is there any progress on this?


  • Brad

    Thanks – credit allocation through through the API would be awesome.

    Keep up the good work!


  • jeeves

    all of the comments are interesting. i was wondering a while ago, when this client came to me asking for newsletter, i wasn’t too bothered as i had never been a ibg fan of any sort of emails let alone newsletters. ( well i prefer phone, skype and a small notebook. ) Came across campaign monitor and here i am thinking of buying 100001 credits today.

    what would be nice for unmotivated people like us is a generic template with few api connections already like client signup. Well if i get it done in million years probably i will make it available to the public then.

  • simon

    Second Tobz suggestion.

    A demo account with a large amount of reporting data would be great. I don’t like showing existing client accounts to new clients, but I purely have to to show the power of the reporting system, which is consistently the clincher getting new clients..

  • kate

    I love the idea of having a check box or other to specify an account is a test account (makes much more sense than doing the above). Would be excellent if potential clients could sign up their own test account!

    If there were proper test accounts, you could then have them automatically populated with some previous campaigns (fake), that would serve the purpose of allowing clients to see the types of info/reports they will be able to get on their campaigns.

    ps – love campaign monitor :)

  • Melanie Burke

    I agree with Mark Walker, it would be great if there were a couple of generic templates included so that a person could create their own account.

  • Christopher

    I totally agree with the comment left by Tobz. CM’s reporting features are awesome and can be a great selling point. Having a demo account with a large dataset would be most useful. Please consider it!

    Speaking of reporting, I’d also like to see metrics that compare client campaigns against average aggregate data. That way clients could gage the overall effectiveness of their campaign compared to other CM users.

  • Daniel Wright

    I agree with “Tobz”

    To have a specific demo account, with a large amount of data showing. Would help our sales team massively to increase our sales. Currently we are showing clients our account to demo how easy it is to use, which has increased our closing ratio by 12%.

    I can see a very large benefit in having a specific demo account to show how effective email marketing is and how it can help increase business.

    Look forward to your feedback.


  • Paul Stokes

    If prospects could set up their own account and send a sample to 5 or so people we (and you) could increase business substantially.

    The problem with having one trial account is it’s confusing to the prospect; they log in, look at a bunch of other trials, and think, “I don’t want to share my info with others.” It’s needs to be simple and fast, and if they have to wait 3 hours for a trial they’ll probably already have moved on. And, if there’s no generic templates ready, they’ll think it’s too difficult.
    I rarely convert a site visitor who did only the trial — they need to be spoonfed.

    Thanks for considering changes. Paul

  • scoopy

    I like the demo idea and the auto inclusion on templates idea. Both of these ideas I have personally sent emails to support asking whether they exist already

  • Joe

    I agree that it would be nice to have some generic templates available that would be automatically added when setting up a demo account.

  • Geoff Towle

    Chiming in here and agreeing with the quick demo account setup and sample data. Basically, we’re the sales people in the field trying to sell your product and this is what we need to convert prospects.

    Thanks, and love CM (as do the client’s I’ve converted).

  • Jeremy

    Campaign Monitor guys, I think you underestimate the power of a fully-built-up demo account that allows us to show our customers all sorts of reporting.

  • Robert Lincolne

    Some great comments here, I agree with Tobz and Melanie too :)

  • Marc

    Agree with those calling for sample reports – they would be a great addition. I’ve had to use screenshots of other client’s reports in the past with the names etc blurred out – not ideal!

    Great application though CM guys, keep up the good work!

  • Emily

    This is really interesting. I’ve not yet set up a client on CM, though I’ve attempted to a few times now, but I didn’t have the time to set them up with a test account to see what its like (so didn’t offer CM at all). I’ve mainly gotten stuck on the templates stage -setting them up with an account is redundant without having those templates ready- so I agree with Mark et al. on the need for some generic templates in there.

  • Jon M

    Another vote for a demo account with a couple of templates and sample reporting. All clients, without exception are really amazed when they see the level of detail so well presented. I’ve had calls too, with them saying “wow! Love the graphs and insight”.

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