Zoho Campaigns is a reliable email marketing software platform and would be a solid choice for businesses of all sizes.
However, we’re not really sold that Zoho Campaigns can beat its competitors like Drip and Mailchimp. We’re also not sure if it’s a solid win for the best email marketing service title.
In this review of Zoho Campaigns email marketing services, we look at the platform’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its closest competitors. At the end you will have full insight into whether the platform is working for your online marketing strategy.
Subscriptions and Prices
Zoho Campaigns offers three plans: the Forever Free plan, the Standard plan, and the Professional plan.
The Forever free plan has limited features that allow you to send 6,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 contacts. It supports an administrator and up to 4 additional users, default email templates, and login and popup forms. This plan is a good starting point for a low volume business that is just getting started.
The Standard plan is a better service for businesses that send emails only occasionally. With this subscription you can send unlimited e-mails, but the price is based on the number of contacts. 500 contacts is the starting fee at $4/month, with the option to pay annually at a cost of $3/month – a 25% savings. This can be up to 100,000 contacts for $92/month. Features include advanced email templates, advanced segmentation, dynamic content, and A/B testing to determine which of the two emails is more effective.
Finally, at the top of the Professional subscription that starts at $6/month for the same 500 contacts, up to $403/month for 100,000 contacts. It adds features such as autoresponders, drag-and-drop workflow automation, and campaign manager approval.
Zoho Campaigns allows users to design impressive email campaigns that engage your customers or clients with personalized content. A Zoho Campaigns plan has a lot of features you would expect from an email marketing provider, but doesn’t offer a high level of innovation.
When you start with Zoho Campaigns, database software management tools allow you to import contacts from third-party platforms such as G-Suite, Eventbrite, Microsoft Excel, and Zoho’s own ZohoCRM. Contacts are categorized into one of three types: marketing, non-marketing, or unsubscribed, so campaigns are only sent to those in the marketing category.
To ensure that your database is clean and up-to-date, Zoho campaigns automatically remove duplicate email addresses, as well as email addresses that bounce or have users unsubscribed. It also has industry standard features including list segmentation and custom merge tags that keep your database organized and make sure your emails not only look good but have a personal touch.
The platform’s campaign design studio boasts custom templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, such useful features that make designing professional-looking email campaigns a breeze.
With a new campaign created, automated workflows allow you to interact with customers with the right content at the right time. Once launched, automated workflows translate into each customer’s personal interaction with your business.
Being a SaaS or browser-based platform means that with Zoho Campaigns there is no need to download or update any additional software as it is hosted in the cloud. You can also use Zoho Campaigns from any device with your account information, including the iOS and Android mobile apps.
Another useful feature is that you can login to Zoho Campaigns with third-party providers such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Slack or Facebook. This makes it easy to securely access your account wherever you work.
Zoho Campaigns has plenty of tools to optimize your email marketing strategy.
Automated customer workflows are very useful, such as creating A/B split test experiments. This handy technique allows the user to create two versions of an email and then track and analyze the response to which word, image, or call to action generates the highest level of interaction with your brand.
In addition, Zoho Campaigns provides advanced analytics and reporting for businesses. We appreciate that the platform’s analysis puts the game above simple open or bounce rate stats to include data, for example the browser or device used to open an email, the country in which the device was located and the traffic that visited your website after viewing an email.
In combination 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 company’s customers, everyone can agree that security is absolutely non-negotiable. Therefore, when investing in an email marketing solution, choosing a highly secure email marketing solution becomes a top priority.
Fortunately, Zoho Campaigns’ security framework is seriously impressive because it revolves around ten pillars: organizational security, operational security, physical security, incident management, infrastructure security, responsible disclosures, data security, supplier 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, both on the move 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 about data security.
If you encounter any issues while using Zoho Campaign’s platform, it is very easy to get help. This starts with the Help and Support Center which provides various resources for troubleshooting and building skills.
Community forums, FAQs and blogs also help you find answers to common problems or get support from other Zoho Campaigns users.
Furthermore, regular webinars are held by Zoho Campaigns, such as ‘Interactive Email Marketing to Increase Your Sales’ and live events, which allow users to further develop their proficiency with the platform and its features.
For more complicated issues, users can also access customer support through online chat or email. During our testing, we waited an average of about a minute to talk to a customer service representative via the online chat window. Not surprisingly, email response times were longer, averaging 12-15 hours. A shortcoming of the support is that we have not found a direct number for a call, nor the specific hours and days of support.
For those looking for a free service, they should also consider MailChimp or Sendinblue, both of which have free forever plans. In particular, Mailchimp offers a great free product with features that surpass those of the Zoho Campaigns free plan.
Zoho’s pricing model is unique compared to the competition, making it challenging to make a comparable price comparison. Some companies may prefer competitors like Drip or Mailchimp that have more features and third-party integrations than Zoho Campaigns at a comparable price.
In summary, Zoho Campaigns is a mid-range email marketing service. It should clearly be on the shortlist for business leaders planning to invest in a new digital marketing strategy. However, keep in mind that this is not the best email marketing service.
The biggest advantage of the platform is its high-quality analytics and engagement reports. We appreciate the robust data security policy for encryption of data managed by the provider. In terms of features, Zoho Campaigns performs solidly, but there are few really notable innovations, with an interface that isn’t as intuitive or attractive to use as some of its competitors.
While Zoho Campaigns is a good solution for some businesses, a little more innovation could catapult it to the top of the segment.