I'm about to start using these services, but I'm finding it difficult to work out which product would be best for each of my clients - the difference between them is clear but there are some overlaps. How would you decide which is best, are there any key questions I should be asking my clients?
Also, what is the going rate for creating a basic template (just a header graphic and colour changes) for Mailbuild, and roughly how much for a campaign?
As far as choosing between them, the key question is "does this client want me to send their emails, or do they want to do it themselves"
If they want you to do it, go for Campaign Monitor. If they are wanting to manage it themselves, set them up with some MailBuild templates.
Pricing is a difficult one, there are so many factors and also in some places laws about collusion on price that we all need to be wary of.
I, too, am evaluating both services and trying to decide which one to start out with. It looks like, as the "admin," I can send emails on behalf of my clients from either product. However, only MailBuild allows clients to send their own. At this point, I will be handling all the sends myself, so this is not an issue for me.
I am more primarily concerned with integrating either CM or MB into my current processes, and ensuring that my clients have as seamless an experience with my company as possible. It looks like MB offers custom domain functionality (so clients can login at xxx.mycompany.com), but CM, which appears to be the more full-featured product, does not. CM, however, offers more control over UI customization (e.g. colors) than MB.
I want to take advantage of MB's custom domain functionality, but CM offers a great deal more control in other respects. Any thoughts?
We have always gone with MB since most of our clients seem to be "do-it-yourself" types. There's also the possibility that a client will want you to send out the campaigns today but may want to take over down the road. Does anyone know of it is possible to convert a Campaign Monitor account to MB?
Great question. At a minimum, you could just take all your templates and client data from CM and re-upload them to MB. But maybe there's a more "official" way to move an account over.
I'm still interested in hearing about any ways to use a custom domain with CM, or any other customization options.
Beware, silly question time;
Why are CM and MB so different in features?
Surely it would be easier for all (including Freshview developers), if it was one single platform that simply had different features/plugins depending on customer needs?
Currently, it makes no sense to me and delaying my decision. :-(
We did spend a lot of time deciding if we should just build the MB features into CM, which definitely would have been the easier way to go from a development perspective, but when we were spec'ing out what the final product would look like, it just felt way to bloated and hard to use.
Sticking with our 'Refreshing simple software' mantra we decided to take the hit of extra development to create what we felt would be a much more usable solution overall - 2 separate products.
In terms of CM and MB being different in features - the core features are common across both, but they do have some features that make sense in one product and not the other, such as the additional billing functionality in MB.
We're always trying to improve the way in which we communicate the difference between the 2 products, and it's something that we still definitely need to work on, but as Mat mentioned, it really comes down to if your client wants to send the newsletter, or would prefer you to do it for them. And if you've got customers that fall into both categories, have an account in both products - we don't charge any monthly fees so it won't cost you anything.
Thanks for taking the time to reply Ben.
May I suggest that instead of (or as well as) the current simple comparison here
Maybe you could also add a grid with side-by-side feature comparison?
For instance, I cannot easily compare differences in reporting, API capabilities (laymans terms), WYSIWYG designer, segmentation, autoresponders etc.
By the way, someone else here was asking if it's easy to transfer clients across systems?
We've stayed away from comparison charts because really there should only be 1 question you need to ask - does this client want to send newsletters themselves, or do they want you to handle all their email marketing for them.
Sorry if we sound like a broken record, but this really is the key. And if your not using our products for your customers, then I would suggest that you use Campaign Monitor.
But if you think you've got a customer who you can't match to a product with that question, tell us a little about the customer.
In terms of easily transferring a client - there isn't an automated way unfortunately, but your lists can easily be exported/imported between the products.