Campaign Monitor has been around for quite some time so it’s totally fair to question whether it is REALLY the best option for 2020 and beyond.
Email marketing has come a long way in the last decade. Automations and visual workflows with complext if this, than that logic and detailed “tagging” is not par for the course. Most modern email service providers have more in common with CRMs (as they should).
So has Campaign Monitor been able to keep up? In some ways yes. They’ve introduced automations and updated the user-interface, but more as a REACTION to other pioneering (and distrupting) platforms. I’ll be 100% honest that I left Campaign Monitor years ago, but still followed along at a distance.
If you are looking to stay current (and relevant) with the latest email marketing platforms, these are the options to consider today:
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Best Overall Alternative: ActiveCampaign
- 2 2. Best Pay Per Send: Sendinblue
- 3 3. Best Data Analytics: Sendlane
- 4 4. Best for Developers: Mailjet
- 5 5. Best A/B Testing: SendX
- 6 6. Aweber
- 7 7. MailerLite
- 8 8. Best Deliverability: GetResponse
- 9 9. Moosend
- 10 10. Drip
- 11 11. ConvertKit
- 12 12. Constant Contact
- 13 Final Send: So What’s the Best Campaign Monitor Alternative?
1. Best Overall Alternative: ActiveCampaign
Summary: ActiveCampaign balances a long track record in the email marketing space with the best of both worlds in a fully automated email system that can easily transition to a full blown CRM if you need it. I love ActiveCampaign because it can SCALE from zero to large enterprise, without breaking the bank.
- Scalable pricing plans with something for everyone
- More CRM style features compared to Compaign Monitor
- Dynamic advanced lead scoring
- One of the most advanced customizable tagging feature sets
- No limit to how many websites you can have on one account
- Industry leading integrations with third-party tools and services
- Larger ecosystem of ActiveCampaign certified developers, consultants, and marketers
- Long track record in the marketing automation vertical
- One of the best email to CRM conversions that truly scale as you grow
- No mobile app to manage account
- Can be more expensive (depending on tiered plan)
ActiveCampaign Prices: Starts at just $9/month for Lite Plan, then $49/month for Plus Plan, $129/month for Professional Plan, and $229/month for Enterprise Plan. All plans utilize a scaled pricing system based on the number of active subscribers (regardless of plan).
- ActiveCampaign vs Campaign Monitor
- ActiveCampaign versus Drip
- ActiveCampaign versus Zoho
- ActiveCampaign versus Mailchimp
- ActiveCampaign versus Infusionsoft (now Keap)
- ActiveCampaign versus MailerLite
- ActiveCampaign versus Office Autopilot
2. Best Pay Per Send: Sendinblue
Summary: Sendinblue has quickly become the go-to option for many businesses looking to match the latest email automation and lite-CRM features with affordable pricing that scales well. It’s definitely hard to justify ever switching back to Campaign Monitor after we switched to Sendinblue.
- Excellent automation functionality for specific use cases, including Transactional, CRM, and Marketing Automation flavors
- Robust chatbot integration within automations
- Pay per email sends (not subscribor counts), more efficient pricing mechanism
- More user-friendly and visual automation builder
- Full SMS marketing capability
- Generally more affordable for most companies (depending on send rates, but would have to send a TON to be less affordable than Campaign Monitor)
- Built-in heat map tracking for optimization email campaigns
- Free premium level phone and chat support
- Advanced lead scoring built-in
- All pricing tiers offer send time optimization (only available on Premier Plan with Campaign Monitor)
- Less of a track record compared to Campaign Monitor (fewer years in business)
- No event management functionality (unlike Campaign Monitor)
- No mobile app (unlike Campaign Monitor)
Sendinblue Prices: Starts at $0 for up to 300 sends per day, then $25 per month for up to 40,000 emails per month, $39 for up to 60,000, $66 for up to 120,000, and customized pricing available beyond this.
- Top Competitors to Sendinblue
- Sendinblue versus ActiveCampaign
- Sendinblue versus Klaviyo
- Sendinblue versus Mailchimp
- Sendinblue versus Sendlane
- Sendinblue versus GetResponse
3. Best Data Analytics: Sendlane
Summary: Sendlane is a relative newcomer to the market, but in just a very short time it has impressed with deep integrations with third-party’s and one of the most user-friendly visual automation builders that I’ve personally tested.
- Amazingly easy to use, visual automation workflow builder
- Advanced multivariate user segmentation to create perfect audience targeted campaigns
- Advanced intelligent popups (no need to sign up for a separate optin software)
- Better real-time analytics compared to Campaign Monitor
- Deep SMS marketing capabilities
- Still relatively new to the email marketing space
- Not as many integrations as others like ActiveCampaign or Sendinblue
- Sendlane versus GetResponse
- Sendlane versus Mailchimp
- Sendlane versus Aweber
- Sendlane versus Ontraport
4. Best for Developers: Mailjet
Summary: Mailjet offers deep technical customizations, dozens of use cases, and some of the best deliverability rates in class. If you or your team are technical and/or need some advanced API functionality, Mailjet is worth a close look.
- Best-in-class API for custom developer usage
- Modify and customize a true enterprise email marketing platform
- One of the most advanced email builders for truly original campaigns
- Ability to white label for agency or client usage
- Robust enterprise level plans
- Free plan up to 6,000 subscribers and 200 sends per day
- Not built for very small stores or businesses with limited use cases
- Requires some technical skill to fully take advantage of the features
Mailjet Prices: Mailjet offers a scalable pricing model, starting with a FREE plan for up to 6,000 email sends per month (limit 2oo per day), then Basic Plan starts at $8.69 per month for 30,000 emails per month (no daily limits), then Premium Plan at $18.86 per month (advanced automation features), and finally Enterprise Plans (custom quotes). Each of the paid tiers can be toggled from 30,000 up to 900,000 emails.
5. Best A/B Testing: SendX
Summary: SendX is a baby relative to Campaign Monitor, but what it lacks for in track record it’s making up for in innovative new features. From advanced split testing, AI drive email deliverability times, robust analytics and tracking, SendX is a true “next-gen” direct response marketing platform.
- Advanced email sending time optimization for the best open-rates and deliverability
- Simple to use drag and drop email automation builder
- Detailed user segmentation and automation features
- Native heatmap tracking to further optimize email templates and messages
- Native A/B split testing, ideal for testing subject lines
- Session based automation triggers, based on user behavior onsite
- 500k+ free stock images for creating great looking original emails
- Closely integrated with chatbot functionality
- More affordable pricing, with starter plans at just $7.49 per month
- 24/7 technical support (live chat, email support, and phone customer support)
- Limited track record, having just launched in 2018
- Third-party integrations are growing, but still lack behind peers
Sendx Prices: Starts at $7.49 per month (up to 1000 subscribers), then $14.99 per month (up to 2500 subs), $29.99 per month (up to 5,000 subs), $39.99 per month (up to 10,000 subs), and then $44.99 per month (up to 15,000 subs). Enterprise plans and custom pricing are available for larger lists.
Summary: Aweber is another one of the “original” email marketing tools prevalent in the early days of online marketing. For a long time they were the incumbent in the stone ages. This definitely changed recently! They have completely reinvented their service and now offer an affordable a dead-simple to use visual sequence builder.
- Generous initial 30 day free trial
- Integrates with many third party platforms, including the leading ecommerce tools
- Many prebuilt campaigns for easy start marketing campaigns
- 800+ templates to choose from (no need to custom design any emails from scratch)
- Easy double opt in functionality for new email list signups
- Not great for moving lists (to or from), so ensure you scope this out before signing up
- Unsubscribers can still be counted against your monthly subscription allotment
- Not the market leader (but a close follower now) when it comes to automations
Aweber Pricing Plans: Basic plan starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers, then $29/month for up to 2,500 subscribers, $49/month for up to 5,000 subs, $69/month for up to 10,000 subs, and finally $149/month for up to 25,000 subs. Larger lists can get a custom quote from Aweber.
Summary: If you are looking for a competent but affordable system, MailerLite is worth considering. The MailerLite email marketing tool is another great platform to consider, with fully automated squence builders and an attractive pricing model.
- Generally less expensive at each pricing tier compared to ActiveCampaign
- Offers a completely FREE plan for up to 1000 subscribers and/or 12,000 emails per month (whichever is higher)
- Easy to use drag and drop email newsletter builder
- Built-in photo editing and resizing functionality (no need for separate marketing automation software)
- Excellent pure tool for email campaigns with no complicated upsells
- More involved setup compared to ActiveCampaign
- In order to support their higher delivery rates a as a platform, MailerLite may actually pause your account if it gets an extremely low open rate
- Not as many CRM or marketing platform features compared to Active Campaign
MailerLite Prices: Free version basic up to 1,ooo subscribers, $10/month for up to 1000 (fully featured), $15/month up to 2,500 subscribers, $30/month up to 5,000 subs, $50/month up to 10,000 subs, etc… see here for extended pricing.
8. Best Deliverability: GetResponse
Summary: An older provider, but one of the “good ones”, GetResponse was one of the first email providers to fully embrace true marketing automation. They’ve generally kept up with the types and offer a good alternative to Campaign Monitor, particularly if you do video or webinar marketing in your email campaigns.
- Specific automations built around webinars and video marketing (the only service providor I’ve found with this unique use case)
- Amazingly in-depth data analytics, including advanced click tracking
- Offers a fully featured 30-day trial offer
- Long tracker record in business (isn’t going anywhere), since 1998
- Introduces lite-CRM features, particularly at the enterprise level
- Extremly easy to use drag and drop email automation builder
- Not the latest tech stack, playing catchup to some more ecommerce focused automation builders
- No 100% free tier (like Sendinblue), just a free trial
GetResponse Prices: All plans start with an initial subscriber max of 1000. Price points are “starting at” depending on features. $15/month for Basic Plan, $49/month for Plus Plan, $99/month for Professional Plan, and $1,199/month for Enterprise Plan.
Summary: You might not have heard of it, but Moosend is an extremely affordable, easy to use, and straightforward autoresponder email marketing tool.
- Free Forever Plan for 1000 subscribers or less
- Super easy-to-use interface and campaign builder
- Paid plan starts at just $10 per month (considerably lower than Sendinblue)
- Full support with email, live chat, and phone support
- Relatively new, with limited track record in business
- Limited native integrations beyond basic Zapier integration
Moosend Prices: Free Forever Plan (100o subs or less), then $10 per month (1001 – 2000 subs), $20 per month (2001 – 3000 subs), and so on, with price break points once you get to $55 per month (8001 – 10,000 subs), $125 per month (10,001 – 25,000). See the full pricing plan schema here.
Summary: Drip is one of the first powerful email automation software solutions. Today, Drip features close integrations with Shopify and eCommerce platforms, positioning themselves as the go-to automation platform for digital commerce.
- Seamless integration with LeadPages and related products (if you need integrated sales pages, this is a great combo)
- Closely integrates with Shopify (particularly post fallout from Mailchimp’s break-up with Shopify)
- Easy-to-implement high CTR opt-in forms (with templates for quickstart)
- Clean visual automation builder and subscriber tagging (segmentation)
- As the name suggests, built for evergreen “drip campaigns”
- 14-day Free Trial
- Shifted focus recently towards eCommerce and Shopify store owners (seemingly ceding content sites to ConvertKit – below – another others)
- No longer run by the founder Rob Walling, LeadPages (which acquired Drip) founder also exited recently
Drip Prices: Scalable pricing starting at up to 2500 contacts for $49 per month.
Summary: ConvertKit is unique in that it is built very intentionally with bloggers and other online storytellers in mind, featuring easy to build visual automations and smart segementations. It’s a bit pricey for what it offers, but if you are an author, blogger, newsletter creator or brand marketer, it fits like a glove.
- Tailor made for bloggers and content creators
- User-friendly interface, easy to build automation sequences
- Simple to use AND customizable opt-in forms for lead capture
- UPDATE: New Newsletter integrations and templates for content creators
- UPDATE: New completely FREE plan tier, up to 1,000 subscribers (fully featured)
- Much more expensive than Sendinblue per email subscriber above the free tier
ConvertKit Prices: Plans start at a FREE tier up to 1,000 subscribers, then $29/month for up to 2000 subscribers, then $49/month for up to 3,000, then $79/month up to 5000, and finally a sliding scale for larger plans.
12. Constant Contact
Summary: Constant Contact is another longstanding email marketing industry stalwart. Like Aweber, if you’ve written off Constant Contact in the past, it’s definitely time to take another look as they’ve added many new automation features in the last few years.
Constant Contact Advantages
- Easy to use drag and drop email template builder for email campaigns
- Excellent for event based marketing
- Built-in split testing capability
- Large library of email templates to pull from
- Above average email deliverability rates (marketing leading platform)
- More responsive customer support with more contact methods (compared to Campaign Monitor)
Constant Contact Disadvantages
- Relatively basic reporting and analytics tools
- Limited ability to tag users based on behavior and triggers (automations and segmentation)
- Not the cheapest Campaign Monitor alternative
Constant Contact Prices: Constant Contact offers a very basic service starting at 20/month for up to 500 contacts (and then scaling up) OR their new Email Plus option which starts at $45/month for up to 5oo contacts (then scaling up).
- Top Constant Contact Alternatives
- Constant Contact vs Mailchimp
- Constant Contact vs Vertical Response
- Constant Contact vs GetResponse
Final Send: So What’s the Best Campaign Monitor Alternative?
Phew! That was quite a list. So where does that leave us?
Personally, this is my take on the general direction you should head based on certain criteria:
- Looking for more CRM functionality and advanced tagging? ActiveCampaign is the best true UPGRADE. Try it out for free here.
- Looking for a more scalable modern automation software? Definitely check out Sendinblue. You likely will get MORE functionality AND save money. Try it out here for free (up to 1000 sends).
- Looking to collect more data and understand your customers? Go with the newcomer Sendlane here.