Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew GuayLast updated September 3, 2015

Plain text emails get your message across, but they won't catch anyone's eye. For that, you'll need a well-designed email that's unique to your brand and looks equally beautiful across every device. You could just use an email template that looks good enough, but Campaign Monitor is designed around the idea that you'll want to go much further with your email's design.

Campaign Monitor says it was "built from the ground up for creative professionals," and that focus shows throughout the entire product. Instead of the standard focus on email lists and contact forms, Campaign Monitor focus sending campaigns in as few steps as possible, and making sure those emails look great. Its email tool helps you create beautiful email templates in a few steps, and then quickly use those templates to send newsletters and drip emails to your contacts—or manage those templates and lists for your clients.

But first things first: sending emails. The most prominent button in Campaign Monitor is a green Create a new Campaign button in the right sidebar. You’ll see it when you first login to Campaign Monitor and are looking at your dashboard with stats from your recent campaigns, as well as in your email campaign lists page. Click that, and you’ll be asked to add a name to your campaign, add the name and email the list will be sent from, and choose whether it’s a regular campaign or an A/B test, or an RSS feed that’s automatically sent out via email.

Then it’s off to the designer, where you’ll be able to pick from some of Campaign Monitor’s pre-made email templates, or make your own email design in minutes. The simplest way is to select a premade template. You’ll be able to see variants others have made, and then can open and edit it on your own. There’s content blocks to arrange your text and images in popular ways, simple font and color options, and more. Everything can be dragged-and-dropped into the order you want, and you can even drag an image from your desktop into the email editor. Or, if you’d rather, you can code your own HTML template using Campaign Monitor’s email template code snippets.

Then, you’ll add your email content right inside the template editor, so you can see how everything will look once the email’s sent. Once you’re done, you can preview the email as it’ll look on desktop and mobile, and make sure everything looks great. Your template will be saved to use again next time—or with your next campaign, you could choose a new template that’s perfect for that message. Your choice.

See, with Campaign Monitor, you have your lists of contacts, and then send one-off emails to those contacts with each campaign. Once you’ve finished your design (or picked an existing one) and added the content for that email, you’ll select the list you want the email sent to. That email will then be sent out, and next time, you’ll make a new campaign to send the next email. It’s a bit different from the standard email lists where you feel like you’re running a continuous campaign; in Campaign Monitor, RSS-powered campaigns are the only ones that keep going ad infinitum. Everything else is one-time emails to your lists, in beautiful templates.

You can even use those same templates to send emails from your own website and apps, via Campaign Monitor's new transactional email feature. Using Campaign Monitor's API, you can send bulk messages from your own apps or website to welcome new users, send receipts and shipment info, and more directly from Campaign Monitor. You'll use the same templates and email plan to send every message your business needs to send—transactional, drip, and marketing.

There’s more, though. Campaign Monitor also includes tools to easily add contacts via forms, bulk import, and social networks, and it’ll build profiles about your subscribers so you’ll know more about them. You can even automatically send out campaigns to new subscribers—or any subscribers when a certain event happens—using its auto-responders, and can personalize emails to each contact. And, there’s the aforementioned option to sell your email templates; you can white label Campaign Monitor, add your logo and designs to it, and sell it to your clients so they can get emails that match the site you designed for them.

For a simple way to send emails to all of your contacts, manually or automatically, and make sure your emails look great, Campaign Monitor’s a great option. Email list apps are a crowded field, and yet Campaign Monitor’s focus on design helps it stand out and makes it an email tool you’ll want to use.

Originally published January 2, 2015; updated June 28, 2018 with new screenshots and details.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Campaign Monitor Features

  • Build emails with a drag-and-drop email designer
  • Preview emails on desktop and mobile before sending
  • Use transactional email features to send emails from your own app via API
  • Add autoresponders to onboard new contacts and email them on special dates
  • Agency plan available to design email templates and setup services for your clients
  • iOS app to add subscribers on the go

Campaign Monitor Pricing

  • from $9/month Basic plan for sending up to 2.5k emails per month to 500 contacts
  • from $29/month Unlimited plan for unlimited emails to 500 contacts
  • from $149/month Premier plan for unlimited emails to 5,000 contacts with full features

High volume pricing available, along with higher plans for each category for more subscribers

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Campaign Monitor is an email marketing tool built for designers. Campaign Monitor makes it easy to send beautiful emails, manage lists and subscribers, and track the results of your campaigns.

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