Going back to 2001, VerticalResponse (opens in new tab) has been around since the early days of the internet and against that background it is easy to see how it is one of the best email marketing services (opens in new tab) available. Through the years, this platform has empowered in excess of 1.4 million businesses to go forward with a digital marketing strategy even without the technical know-how.
As we review VerticalResponse email marketing services, we examine the pros and cons of this well-established email campaign software, seeing how it holds its own when put up against some of the more recently launched email campaign tools.
Plans and pricing
VerticalResponse has simplified down to two price plans, Basic, (opens in new tab) which starts at $11 per month paid monthly depending on the email list size. It supports sending unlimited emails, live customer support, and unlimited landing pages.
The better plan is Pro (opens in new tab) which starts at $16 dollars per month. It brings forward all the features of the lower plan, and adds advanced reporting, delivery rate review and A/B subject line testing.
There is also a Pay as You Go (opens in new tab) option as you can purchase credits to send emails. The starting cost is $25 per 1,000 emails.
At first glance, VerticalResponse’s price plans are quite simple, but pull back the layers and things begin to get complicated.
While the paid accounts enable users to send unlimited emails every month, the pricing isn’t static as it increases based upon the number of contacts in your account. More specifically, the Basic plan increases to $22 per month once you exceed 500 contacts, $33 per month after you reach 1,000, and so on up to 40,000 at a cost of $250 per month.
The Pro plan also works in a similar fashion, such as pushing it up to 10,000 contacts increases the price to $120 per month. While certainly, most email marketing services use a similar pricing structure, there generally tend to be fewer variables.
A significant pro of VerticalResponse is that it does offer a free 60-day trial with no credit card required, along with discounted rates for non-profits.
Additionally, the platform also offers a separate paid plan for advanced surveys at $19 per month, with a limited free tier of the same for more basic survey needs.
VerticalResponse has plenty of features to enable users for the production of professional outreach emails, the organization and undertaking email marketing campaigns and surveys, and A/B test messaging for the optimization of conversions.
Core features include a straightforward email editor, contact list management system, detailed analytics, automated email blasts, an HTML editor, mobile-friendly email templates, Facebook and Twitter connectivity, an image library, and editable pop-up forms.
Truthfully, for most businesses, this would be enough, but VerticalResponse kicks it up a notch, and has a number of stand-out features to make the platform even more appealing. We like the easy-to-use editor that offers time saving templates, a flexible layout and pre-formatted content blocks.
For example, there is a Test Kit, which gets paid for using VerticalResponse credits on an email by email basis. This useful feature enables you to preview the subject lines, preview how your email will appear on almost 60 apps, devices, and browsers, and even scan for any broken links.
Another useful feature is that VerticalResponse has an easy-to-use landing page builder (opens in new tab). This means that in the absence of a website you can create landing pages to give your emails more credibility. It even offers useful tools such as SEO (opens in new tab) optimization, the option to host it yourself or have VerticalResponse do it for you, and web forms to allow potential customers to enter their email and other data.
The software can even integrate with other marketing tools like Salesforce, Ecwid, JotForm and Magento, among a slew of others, for cross-platform syncing of contacts and email lists.
In short, VerticalResponse is simple and powerful enough to make it possible to carry out some very complex digital marketing procedures with zero technical knowledge.
When we tried it, we found the setup process to be quick and simple. It started with entering our email address into the Start Free Trial box on VerticalResponse’s homepage, and then we were instantly redirected to a standalone sign-up page.
Next, we entered our login credentials and were given instant access to the Get Started page on the VerticalResponse web app. There’s options to follow the prompted setup instructions, or to explore the site independently. Follow the prompts, and in short order you’ll be asked to create your first email list. If you don’t want to do this, then just cancel the pop-up, and simply explore the site manually, as we did.
For the creation of emails and landing pages, the steps are particularly straightforward- with quite professional results. Those new to email marketing will feel comfortable using this interface with a minimal learning curve.
The VerticalResponse interface is quite clean, simple, making it very easy to navigate. Tabs get arranged over two tiers: the upper with Messages, Contacts, Forms, and Surveys, and below is Upload New List, Create Sign Up Form, Create Segmentation–or sub-groups, and Create Landing Page.
This thoughtful layout is organized, and ensures all key features are easily accessible. This makes the whole process, from creation of a bespoke email template, to sending it out, as easy and time-efficient as possible.
Adding contacts can be done individually, or imported in bulk. This process is quick and easy, and as the contact information gets added it is instantly displayed.
It took plenty of digging to get some info on how VerticalResponse protects the data it handles. Frustratingly, we were unable to locate any references to security on its website.
To find out ultimately, we had to do a Google search. This query led us to an obscure, dateless post on VerticalResponse’s help site regarding the company’s intended migration from SSL (opens in new tab) (Secure Sockets Layer) to TLS (Transport Layer Security) to mitigate SSL cyberattacks.
For information outside of office hours, support is available via email contact, but don’t expect an instant reply.
You can access help and support in-session by selecting the question box in the top left corner of the screen. There is the option to choose help for the page you are on, a useful feature, or consult the full index. In either case, you get redirected to the VerticalResponse help center.
This standalone website certainly contains a lot of information while being well organized, but we found some of the categories, like A/B testing, to be a little light on articles. Still, there is plenty of content, such as “Create a List of Non-responders,” and “How to add a Pop Up to a Landing Page.”
VerticalResponse has a live chat (opens in new tab) for a paid plan, but they only operate Monday-Friday 8 am-4:30 pm CST. When we submitted our question, Kimberly C, a live support person came in about a minute, and gave us our answer efficiently, and also wished us a good afternoon. We did not find phone support.
VerticalResponse does arguably offer good value for money at the low end of its price plans. However, as the contact scales up, the price quickly ramps up. Therefore, GetResponse (opens in new tab) might be better suited to a growing business, with its Basic plan starting at $15.58 per month for 1,000 contacts.
Yet another industry veteran is AWeber (opens in new tab). This service is similarly priced, and also aims to simplify email marketing, but we prefer VerticalResponse as it offers a far greater range of features.
VerticalResponse is feature rich, and well suited to first-time users not familiar with digital marketing strategies. That said, even established businesses with tech-savvy staff will also benefit from its usability, saving time and money on marketing campaigns.
- Reach even more potential customers with the best email marketing software (opens in new tab)