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Zoho Campaigns review

Can it compete with Mailchimp and Drip?

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(Image: © Zoho Campaigns )

Our Verdict

Zoho Campaigns offers a reliable email marketing service for businesses but offers few innovative features that separate it from its competitors.

For

  • Unique subscription model
  • Robust data security framework

Against

  • Few innovative features
  • Web-based interface not as powerful as competitors’

Zoho Campaigns is a reliable email marketing software platform and would be a solid choice for businesses of all sizes.

However, we’re not entirely convinced that Zoho Campaigns can compete against the likes of Drip and Mailchimp, and we don’t believe it can compete for the title of best email marketing service.

In our Zoho Campaigns email marketing services review, we’ll look at the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and compare it to its closest competitors. After reading, you’ll have a clearer idea about whether the platform is appropriate for your online marketing strategy.

Plans and pricing

Zoho Campaigns offers three paid subscription plans: the Pay by Email Credits plan, the Email-Based plan, and the Subscriber-Based plan.

There is also a free forever plan with limited features that enables you to send 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers.

The Pay by Email Credits plan is ideal for businesses that only send emails occasionally. With this plan, you buy a set number of emails in advance. 250 emails costs $6, 5,000 emails costs $80, and 25,000 emails costs $225.

The Email-Based plan is for businesses that send a set number of emails each month. It costs $32 per year for 0–500 monthly emails, $151 per year for 4001–5000 monthly emails, and $378 per year for 25,000 monthly emails.

The Subscriber-Based plan is the most similar to the offerings of other providers and enables you to send an unlimited number of emails. It also includes all Zoho Campaigns features. You’ll pay $54 per year for 1–500 subscribers, $486 per year for 2,501–5000 subscribers, or $1350 per year for 24,001 to 25,000 subscribers.

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Zoho Campaigns’ pricing model is unique. (Image credit: Zoho )

Features

Zoho Campaigns enables you to design impressive email campaigns and engage your customers or clients with personalized content. A Zoho Campaigns subscription comes with all the features you’d expect in an email marketing provider but doesn’t offer much in the way of innovation.

When you begin using Zoho Campaigns, database software management tools enable you to import contacts from third-party platforms such as G-Suite, Eventbrite, or Microsoft Excel.

To ensure your database is clean and up to date, Zoho campaigns will automatically remove duplicate email addresses as well as those that bounce or whose users have unsubscribed.

List segmentation and custom merge tags are industry-standard features that keep your database organized and ensure your emails not only look good but have a personal touch.

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Zoho Campaigns automatically manages your contact list and keeps it up to date. (Image credit: Zoho)

When using the platform’s campaign design studio, custom templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface are useful features that make it easy for you to design professional-looking email campaigns.

Once you’ve created a new campaign, automated workflows enable you to interact with customers at the right moment with the right content. Once set up, automated workflows mean every customer’s interaction with your business is a personal one.

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Zoho Campaigns has an extensive library of custom templates. (Image credit: Zoho )

Setup

Zoho Campaigns is a browser-based platform, so there is no extra software to download and you can use Zoho Campaigns from any device using your account credentials.

We also like that you can log into Zoho Campaigns with third-party providers such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Slack, or Facebook. This makes it easy to securely access your account, no matter where you’re working from.

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Accessing your Zoho Campaigns account is easy but secure. (Image credit: Zoho )

Performance

Zoho Campaigns provides several tools for optimizing your email marketing strategy.

When building automated customer workflows, you can create A/B split testing experiments. Split testing enables you to create two versions of an email and determine which word, image, or call to action results in the highest level of interaction with your brand.

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A/B split testing makes email marketing less guesswork and more science. (Image credit: Zoho)

Zoho Campaigns also provides advanced analytics and reporting for businesses. However, the platform’s analytics go beyond simple statistics on open or bounce rates, and include data such as the browser or device used to open an email, the country in which the device was located, and how many people visited your website after viewing an email.

Combined with A/B split testing, analytics make it easy to quantify the success of your digital marketing strategy. We think Zoho Campaigns has some of the most powerful analytics and optimization features in the market.

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Zoho Campaigns goes far beyond basic statistics and reporting. (Image credit: Zoho)

Security

When managing the data and privacy of your business’ customers, security is non-negotiable. This is particularly true when investing in an email marketing solution, so choosing a highly secure email marketing solution should be one of your top priorities.

Fortunately, Zoho Campaigns’ security framework is impressive and 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.

One particular security feature we were happy to see was encryption of user data, both in-transit and at-rest using TLS and 256-bit AES standards. This makes data stored on the platform very secure.

The platform’s support for single sign-on and multi-factor authentication further secures your accounts and assures your customers that their data is safe.

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Zoho Campaigns has a comprehensive data security framework. (Image credit: Zoho)

Support

If you run into trouble when using Zoho Campaign’s platform, it’s easy to find help. To start with, the help and support center provides several resources for troubleshooting and skills building.

Community forums, frequently asked questions, and blogs can also help you find answers to common issues and get support from other Zoho Campaigns users.

In addition, webinars and live events are regularly held by Zoho Campaigns that allow users to further develop their proficiency with the platform and its features.

Finally, for more complicated issues, users can access customer support via online chat or email. Over several tests, we had to wait an average of about one minute to speak with a customer service representative using the online chat window. Email response times were longer, with an average of 12–15 hours.

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These are just some of the ways Zoho Campaigns’ users can find help. (Image credit: Zoho )

The competition

If you’re looking for a free service, you might want to consider MailChimp or Sendinblue’s free forever plans. Mailchimp, in particular, provides a great free product with features that surpass those of Zoho Campaigns’ free plan.

Zoho’s pricing model is different from that of its competitors, so it can be difficult to make a like-for-like price comparison. However, some businesses might prefer competitors such as Drip or Mailchimp. These providers have more features and third-party integrations than Zoho Campaigns and are similarly priced.

Final verdict

Zoho Campaigns is a middle-of-the-pack email marketing service, and should definitely be on the shortlist for business leaders considering investing in a new digital marketing strategy. But it isn’t the top email marketing service.

The platform’s biggest plus is the high-quality analytics and engagement reports. When it comes to features, Zoho Campaigns is a solid performer, but there are few innovative features of note, and the interface isn’t quite as intuitive or appealing to use as those of some of its competitors.

We appreciate, however, the robust data security policy that emphasizes the encryption of data managed by the provider.