I have to say I love the ability to set the pricing structure and have you send me the profit. That works sweet.
However I am finding that I know have more clients using constant contact b/c of it's pricing structure. Which really stinks for me b/c you have to have quite a commitment to them in order to make any profit of your clients. I think it's either 10 or 12 active clients running in order to claim any revenue. and even then - 15% of $15 a month is pretty lame.
But anyway what I am getting at is that it seems that my clients are turning more towards - " I want to send as many emails as I want for a flat fee" - and not "Pay you per email blast - you're nuts."
I would just ask that you all think about it some more or help me some compelling reasons why this is not a good solution for my clients when they think it's the cat's meow.
One other thing I have to say about what they do offer that is nice - If I do get to a point where I can be a partner with them or affiliate - then I get a free account and can send as many emails as I like whenever I like - for free. THat is the one bonus I will take from their low rewards structure.
Have a great on all.
ps- can you turn on the "Subscribe to this post" or "alert me when someone replies" feature. I would love to not have to waste time looking for replies when there are none and this forum thing takes off for you guys.
Thanks for your feedback. There are a couple of reasons we went for a per campaign charge rather than flat fee. One is that it means your clients don't have to pay if they don't send emails. Another is a lot of customers send only one or two campaigns a month, and a flat fee is less cost effective in that case.
We aren't really looking at offering other pricing structures at this point - it seems to be working well for the majority of customers as it is. For some of your clients, it may well be that a flat fee is a better match to their requirements, and that's ok.
Regarding the 'subscribe to this post', there is a link at the bottom of each thread 'subscribe to this topic' which is what you are after. You can also subscribe via RSS using the link in the heading.
I think what you're missing is that Campaign Monitor and Mailbuild were designed as a service to be re-branded and re-sold by web designers - not a DIY service with monthly or flat fees etc. There are plenty of other offerings out there with those kind of service plans for the clients who want cheap or to do it themselves. We've been on-selling CM for over two years now and have honestly never had a question over what we charge - perhaps you're just pitching it to the client in the wrong way or perhaps even working with the wrong people. We emphasise the following points over other services in the market:
The client will receive a 'custom', professionally designed newsletter - not a cookie cutter template
The email design is tested across platforms and email clients
They pay the same rate (whether it be 1c, 2c, or 50c) per recipient no matter how many they send - there's peace of mind in this for the client - its reliable.
Others may work differently but we only charge clients for what they send - there's no lock in.
The campaign metrics provided are exceptional and a major advantage over the no tangible results situation common with traditional forms of marketing.
All in all what they're paying for is a professional service - we put together each newsletter for them, make sure it looks right and presents well in addition to testing it prior to sending it out
In regards to to their surprise at not being able to send as many emails as they want for the same fee - point them to the local post office and see if they'll accept 10,000 letters for $10
You have to sell the cost savings over traditional forms of marketing so they can see the cost benefit email offers - we have a cost comparison on our site which you are welcome to copy and adjust for your local postage/printing costs and charges
In any business, getting stuck into an argument over what your competition does or offers is ALWAYS a losing strategy for the simple fact that in any industry there are clowns who know nothing about running a business and as such offer their products or services either too cheaply or for nothing. You cant compete with that so dont bother trying - its pointless. Spend your time gathering together the real benefits you offer your client, the real advantages of using your service and of working with you. I guarantee if you can work this way you'll not only make more money but you'll also develop a loyal, reliable client base.
Well said Damien, thanks for a clear and helpful answer. Chris, it does come down to what your client needs, and what you can offer them.
Damien has pointed out a few of the key benefits of email marketing in general. If you are comparing against another email service, then price is clearly a factor, but so is ease of use, reporting, reliability and the quality of the email.
If they really can get a better result using a different product, then of course they should go with that - why wouldn't they. On the other hand, if you can offer them a better outcome using Campaign Monitor then you need to work out what that is, and let them know.
i really love the mailbuild service its amazing. i also like the 'pay what you use' pricing. the prob i see is for example http://www.constantcontact.com/pricing/index.jsp is a not bad service and their pricing is very aggressive.
i would say my clients would send more if the 1cet / recipient would be arround .5 or .3 cent / recipient.
others i try to convince wonna go with constant contact.
looking forward to hear form you guys.
Thanks for chiming in. While it is true that in some cases Constant Contact's pricing might work out cheaper, in other cases Campaign Monitor will be cheaper, and in any case we are really not here just to compete on price.
As a web designer, the time I used to spend on using restrictive or irritating systems to send html emails cost me a lot more than a lower price would have ever saved. We absolutely value your feedback on the pricing, but we also place a lot of value in ease of use, flexibility and convenience.
Having said that, obviously there are clients and cases where Constant Contact or some other service is going to make more sense, and that's fine. Keep the feedback coming!
The main contrast I see there with CC is that they have a set monthly fee which you have to pay whether you use it or not. I also noticed that they charge more if you need them to host more than 5 images. I could be wrong but it also looks like you're locked into using their templates as opposed to the free design system offered by CM and Mailbuild. Again, we're not comparing apples with apples.
Another point I would add to my earlier comment regards the price is that you have to decide what revenue model you as a designer want to pursue - I know of some using CM who charge very little for delivery, 2-5c or so whereas they charge much more for the initial design, subsequent updates, subscriber management, data analysis etc etc. Personally we charge less for our initial account setup, design and newsletter updates and more for the ongoing delivery. Its not possible to say charging 1c per email is necessarily better than 10c per email if you have to pay over $1,000 up front for the design etc. The frequency and requirements of the client and how you prefer to work / what you want to earn will largely dictate which of these models is more appropriate.
I could be wrong but it also looks like you're locked into using their templates as opposed to the free design system offered by CM and Mailbuild.
Yes, that appears to be the case. I looked into this awhile back as I wanted to see if we could set up a a self-managed newsletter in Constant Contact for one of our clients, using a custom designed template that we developed. Here is the reply I received...
I am sorry, but at the current time you would not be able to upload templates into your Constant Contact account, in the manner you have mentioned. I understand how useful this feature would be for you as well as for other users. I appreciate your comments and have forwarded your email to our product management team. Our product management team will review your email and evaluate your request for possible inclusion in a future release.
cool thanx for the feedback.
Am I ever digging up an old post or what? Well I would like to chime in here on this one instead of reposting a new one.
First off, having done email marketing for enterprise corporations I absolutely LOVE all the feature sets of CM, even though I haven't quite yet sent an email. I just know what I'm looking for. Now that I have my own marketing company this is where I'm parking my email marketing efforts.
In regards to pricing structure, I can see it both ways, the advantages of monthly versus per-use. One one side of the ring is the per-use and the main argument is "You use it only when you need it." On the other side of the ring is the monthly flat rate per x-amount of users and their argument is "You can send as many times per month for one flat rate."
Both have their pros and cons. If my list was only 10 people and I had a monthly, or even bi-monthly newsletter it would be only $10.10. ($5 per sending plus .01 cents per email). Not too bad, but what if I kick that up to lets say 300 email addresses. (I'm using small numbers because it's quick and easy to do the math and most people arguing over this factor don't have a list much larger than 500). With 300 email addresses sending out bi-monthly it would cost $16 ($5 per sending plus .01 cents per email). That's only 1 dollar over the cost of MailChimp and Constant Contact and $6 over iContact.
At this point I would have to say it's about equal. Lets say this customer is sending out every week 300 emails, each week has a different segment. At this point the monthly costs wins over the per-use emails. Anyone serious about email marketing should probably be doing it on at least monthly basis depending upon the client and their offerings to the customer base.
So why am I still sticking to my guns with Campaign Monitor? Good question. I like the feature set and the flexibility with templates! I also hope they can appease both worlds like MailChimp does where a customer can use either a monthly structure or a pay-per-use structure. http://www.mailchimp.com/pricing.phtml (I'm not the biggest fan for MailChimp but it has caught my eye in the past along with iContact.)
Doing both I think would blow any competition out of the water because it shows that you are flexible with your customer in giving them options that fit their needs.
When I first started out doing email marketing I used Constant Contact for around 18mths or so. It was requested by my first email client and I stuck with it. I have since moved onward and I believe upwards to Campaign Monitor which was recommended to me by a web designer. If you are a designer or marketing firm looking to offer your services to clients like I am then there is really no comparing the two.
Many of the differences have been spelled out above, the feature set of Campaign Monitor far surpasses Constant Contact as does its ease of use. I am based in LA and my emails to customer service are always answered so fast that I cannot believe you guys are based in Australia!
Lets just take a moment to think about those pre-fab templates Constant Contact offers. I can always tell when I get an email from someone using Constant Constant by the cookie cutter design and the intrusive Constant Contact logo at the bottom of each mail. These emails are instant brand-killers....
To be fair though I find myself competing against it often. A lot of businesses see it as a cheap in-house option and like the fact that they have access to templates named "the red one" or "Autumn leaves". Go figure! Though there is a way to import your custom designed templates from Dreamweaver and send them via Constant Contact. Firstly there is a custom button you can check when first setting up a new campaign. Within that on the page you fill out your subject line there is an advanced editor link (on the left, I think that is what its called its been a while) that you can paste your code into and host your own images on your server. If I remember right doing this gives you open rates but not click through figures. It might have improved since I used it last....personally I will only use Constant Contact when a new client is really attached to it and cannot be persuaded otherwise.
Yeah constant contact hasn't ever looked good to me. In features, yes there is no way of comparing the two. In price there is and that's what my last post was about.
When I was working with World Vision, which is the largest non-profit, we would send out about 2-3 million emails in one segment. In fact email marketing and online marketing has been so successful that each year they are able to give several more % to the kids in less fortunate areas. When I was working there it was about 84% i think, now it's like up to 87%. Anyways... I say all that to say I'm pretty experienced when it comes to getting things through spam filters and sending HUGE email segments.