Zoho Campaigns brings the goods for a reliable email marketing service for businesses, but offers few innovative features to pull ahead from its competitors.
Easy to use
Excellent customer support
Needs more advanced features
Difficult to set up
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However, we’re not really sold that Zoho Campaigns can best its competition, such as Drip and Mailchimp. Also, we’re not sure that it is a solid win for the title of best email marketing service.
In this Zoho Campaigns email marketing services review, we take a look at the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, in comparison to its closest competitors. By the end, you’ll have a full understanding about whether the platform works for your online marketing strategy.
Zoho Campaigns: Plans and pricing
Zoho Campaigns has a free plan but with limited features. For example, This plan supports a maximum of 5 users and 6,000 emails per month. You also can't have over 2,000 contacts on this plan, making it only suitable for small businesses with a few customers. You’ll need to pay for a premium plan to use Zoho Campaigns best.
There are two premium plans; Standard and Professional. The Standard plan starts at $4 per month for 500 contacts and the price increases according to the number of contacts. For instance, 5,000 contacts on this plan will cost $31 per month and 10,000 contacts will run you $49 per month. This plan supports up to 10 user accounts and lets you send an unlimited number of emails.
The Professional plan starts at $5 per month for 500 contacts and increases corresponding to the number of contacts. For example, 5,000 contacts on this plan will cost $45 per month, and 10,000 contacts $70 per month. This plan gives some features that you can't get on the Standard plan, such as delivering emails according to recipients' time zones, popup signup forms, and creating email polls.
If you don't want to be a recurring subscriber, Zoho offers something called pay-as-you-go that lets you buy email credits based on your short-term needs and use them at will. Each credit equals one email that you'd send to a contact. Zoho charges $14 for 500 credits and the unit price decreases the higher the number of credits you're buying.
Zoho Campaigns: Features
Zoho Campaigns empowers users to design impressive email campaigns which will engage your customers or clients with personalized content. A Zoho Campaigns subscription has plenty of features that you’d expect in an email marketing provider, however, it doesn’t offer a high level of innovation.
When starting out with Zoho Campaigns, database software(opens in new tab) management tools enable you to import contacts from third-party platforms such as G-Suite, Eventbrite, Microsoft Excel and Zoho’s own ZohoCRM(opens in new tab). Contacts get classified into one of three types: marketing, non-marketing, or unsubscribed so campaigns only get sent to those in the marketing category.
With the goal of ensuring your database is clean and up to date, Zoho campaigns automatically removes duplicate email addresses, as well as those that bounce or whose users have unsubscribed. It also has industry-standard features including list segmentation and custom merge tags that keep your database organized and ensure your emails not only look good but have a personal touch.
Zoho Campaigns has an extensive library of custom templates (Image credit: Zoho )
The platform’s campaign design studio features custom templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, such useful features that make it a snap to design professional-looking email campaigns.
With a new campaign created, automated workflows enable you to interact with customers at just the right moment with the right content. Once initiated, automated workflows translate to every customer’s interaction with your business as a personal one.
Zoho Campaigns has plenty of tools for optimizing your email marketing strategy. Automated customer workflows are quite useful, such as to create A/B split testing experiments. This useful technique enables the user to create two versions of an email and then track and analyze the response to which word, image, or call to action delivers the highest level of interaction with your brand.
Additionally, Zoho Campaigns provides advanced analytics and reporting for businesses. We appreciate that the platform’s analytics up the game higher than simple statistics on open or bounce rates to include data, for example, the browser or device used for opening an email, the country in which the device was located, and the traffic that visited your website after viewing an email.
When combined with A/B split testing, analytics simplify quantifying the success of your digital marketing strategy. Overall, Zoho Campaigns has some of the most powerful analytics and optimization features in this segment.
When it comes to managing the data and privacy of your business’ customers, all can agree that security is totally non-negotiable. Therefore, when investing in an email marketing solution, the choice of a highly secure email marketing solution becomes a top priority.
Thankfully Zoho Campaigns’ security framework is seriously impressive as it revolves around ten pillars: organizational security, operational security, physical security, incident management, infrastructure security, responsible disclosures, data security, vendor management, identity and access control, and customer security controls. With such a comprehensive approach, we can see how it covers all potential vulnerabilities and concerns.
Of note is the encryption of user data, for both in-transit and at-rest using TLS and 256-bit AES standards. This high level of encryption makes data stored on the platform quite secure. The platform also supports single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, to further secure your accounts, and reassure your customers of the safety of the data.
Zoho Campaigns: Interface and use
Zoho Campaigns is a cloud-based platform that you can access from any device with an active internet connection and web browser. It has mobile apps for iOS and Android but they don’t offer the full functionality that you’ll get on the web-based interface.
It can be difficult for first-time users to set up Zoho Campaigns for their business. However, the platform offers interactive tutorials to help you navigate potential challenges.
Zoho Campaigns: Support
If you encounter a challenge when using Zoho Campaigns, the ideal place to first seek help is the official support center where you can find a plethora of user articles, guides, and tutorials concerning all aspects of the platform. It's advisable for new users to look at the "Getting Started" guide from this support center.
Zoho also offers webinars and video tutorials to familiarize users with its platform. The company hosts regular live events that involve experts teaching users how to maximize their use of the platform and market effectively.
If you can’t find a solution at the support center, you can contact Zoho’s support team via live chat, email, or telephone. For live chat sessions, expect to wait just a few minutes before getting connected with support staff. Emails unexpectedly take longer but in less than 24 hours.
Zoho has different telephone support lines for different countries, so you can pick the one for your country or another country in a close time zone to ensure you can talk to support personnel. Many users speak highly of this company’s customer service.
Zoho Campaigns: The competition
For those looking for a free service, they should also consider MailChimp or Sendinblue which both have free forever plans. Mailchimp, specifically, provides a great free product with features that exceed those of Zoho Campaigns’ free plan.
Zoho’s pricing model is unique compared to its competition, making it challenging to make a like-for-like price comparison. Some businesses may prefer competitors such as Drip or Mailchimp which have more features and third-party integrations than Zoho Campaigns at a similar price point.
Zoho Campaigns: Final verdict
In summary, Zoho Campaigns is a middle-of-the-pack email marketing service. It should clearly be on the shortlist for business leaders that plan on investing in a new digital marketing strategy. However, be mindful that it isn’t the top email marketing service.
The platform’s biggest advantage are the high-quality analytics and engagement reports. We appreciate the robust data security policy for the encryption of data managed by the provider. In the area of features, Zoho Campaigns is a solid performer, but has few real innovations of note, with an interface that isn’t quite as intuitive or appealing in use as some of the competition.
While Zoho Campaigns is a decent solution for some businesses, some more innovation could catapult it to the top of the segment.