- 250 recipients and 1.000 emails per month free
- No setup fee, no obligations
- High email deliverability and security
- Formularies Not Responsive
CleverReach is a German-based e-mail marketing management platform and service, claiming to have currently around 220,000 clients. Its traditional client pool relies on Europe (which is reflected in the number of European languages in which it is available, like French, Spanish, Italian or Dutch, aside from German and English). Still, now it seems that they’re starting to challenge their international rivals, outside of Europe. Indeed, it could be a useful tool for American companies, both those wanting to change from their current mailing service and those trying to use such a service for the first time. For these companies, the quality of the freemium plan could be a big plus, allowing them to try out the platform before updating it to a paying plan. Let’s check out its main features.
Like most of the other online services, CleverReach relies on a freemium business model, with an extensive free plan. Most of the service’s features are available at “Lite,” the free-to-use mode, and you just need to register to use them. Above Lite, there are four paid plans. The Flat Rate is the plan for marketers who have a limited number of subscribers and recipients. The High Volume is intended for large businesses. Finally, the Prepaid plans are useful to the infrequent marketers, who prefer to use the service occasionally.
Lite is a comprehensive freemium option, giving you a clear view of what you can do with CleverReach. The small businesses with up to 250 subscribers, and sending up to 1000 e-mails per month can use CleverReach for free. If you’re starting in the mail marketing business, it’s a good way to start. And if you already have a large subscribers list, you could segment a significant number of subscribers to test the platform before deciding to switch entirely from your current service.
Lite is especially advantageous because it includes almost every feature of the platform. There are some critical features included only on the paying plans, but very few of them. For instance, in Lite, you can’t define the sending time of your newsletter, and the templates are not mobile responsive. Autoresponder (the ability to send further automated e-mails based on subscribers’ behavior) is also off on Lite. But the vast majority of the platform’s options are included.
Flat Rate allows businesses to manage up to 100,000 subscribers and send an unlimited number of e-mails. A big number of businesses would be comfortable with this, and from 15 euros per month, one can’t say this is particularly expensive. Being a paying plan, Flat Rate includes every regular feature of the paying plans of CleverReach.
If you were to divide the service’s plans in the traditional three-way structure (the cheap, the medium, and the expensive), Flat Rate would be the medium, and High Volume would be the top-tier. This is intended for substantial businesses with massive needs of e-mail marketing actions and communication. From 495 euros per month, the number of subscribers is unlimited and the number of e-mails to send per month is unlimited too. Actually, you should send at least 30,000 e-mails per month to be on the High Volume plan.
The two “extra” plans, beyond the typical three-way division, are two prepaid plans targeting occasional users. The Prepaid, with a fixed quota, could be used by large users and starts at 41.95 euros.
The Monthly Prepaid is quite similar to the Prepaid, the main difference being that this is pre-scheduled to last for a month. The price starts at 25.95 euros per month. In both the Prepaid and the Monthly Prepaid Plans, the number of e-mails to send starts at 1000, and the amount of subscribers is unlimited. The client could switch to another plan at any time, though.back to menu ↑
The server locations of CleverReach are based in Germany and other European Union countries and are extremely secure.
Secure Socket Layer
SSL encoding is an ever-present feature of CleverReach, making all the operations quite safe. You’ll be using Secure Socket Layer when sending e-mails, but there’s more to that. Your forms, also a sensible data transfer between your users and your platform, also benefit from this level of protection. Even the tracking of links is made using SLL.
If your clients are Europe-based, you’ll definitely need to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), mandatory for online companies. CleverReach, being a German-based company, has a natural advantage regarding this. Not only will your e-mail marketing efforts comply with the rules, but you’ll also create data in a way complying with the norm through the Double-Opt-In forms.
CleverReach is part of the Certified Sender Alliance, a group of high-quality online operators, based in Germany, committed to whitelisting and marketing best practices. The company is also a member of ECO, the Association of the German Internet Economy, shaping the industry in that European country since 1995. CleverReach is even an Authorized Partner of Trusted Shop, a European widely-recognized trust mark.
Creating a Campaign
The creation of a campaign is easy, using the Drag & Drop Editor. It is not mandatory to have a web designer to create newsletters, as you have access to several templates. You are able to customize them by dragging and dropping pre-made elements. However, if you’re looking for a proper degree of customizations, there’s no problem. You can use the HTML Editor and Source Code Editor to make it as unique as you like. Customization includes the possibility of editing pictures directly on the platform.
The ability to import HTML templates is a standard one. Every agency should have a web designer in its team or collaborate with one, so you would want to show your (or your client’s) brand in mailing communication. A little more surprising is the ability to import templates from Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp, two of the most used e-mail marketing platforms out there. If you’re thinking about changing your service, this could make your life a lot easier.
As mentioned above, you can determine the sending time of your newsletter (except on Lite plan), giving you some extra flexibility regarding the most favorable time for your subscribers to view and open your e-mail.
Preview and Responsiveness
The newsletter templates are responsive so that you can professionally reach your mobile-based audience. They’re free to use (as long as you’re on a paying plan, as mentioned above). A feature that not every platform includes, though, is the ability to preview your newsletter before sending it in every format. It seems odd, given the prevalence of mobile audiences, that you’re not able to check your “mobile newsletter” before sending it. CleverReach has that covered.
E-mail marketers know that newsletters are a single field of the marketing effort and that they can’t go along without social media. Integrating content into different platforms is essential to reach everyone. So, if you can’t share your newsletters in social media, what’s your alternative to reach potential clients (or clients) who are mainly on those channels?
No need to worry, as newsletters can be shared in a simple way into the most important social media, including Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.
Interaction With Your Online Shop
Speaking of integration. Having a link in your newsletter to your online shop is easy and doable. But if you can use RSS feeds and dynamic content, the result will be way more gorgeous and professional. And this platform allows you to do that, too.
The management of the subscribers’ list is standard and intuitive. Or shall we say lists, as obviously you can segment and distribute your contacts between more than one list. If you’re a big business thinking of changing your platform, you’ll be able to import data from a CSV or Excel file with no trouble at all. The reverse, exporting your data into a file, is also easy to do.
If you need to clean up your lists, regarding redundancies, not responding contacts, and other anomalies, CleverReach also allows you to do that.
E-mail Marketing Automation
The THEA tool of e-mail marketing automation is one of the strong points of CleverReach. In a highly intuitive, visual manner, it allows marketers of every level of experience to design and implement an automated e-mail marketing campaign, with its several steps. THEA allows marketers to implement trigger mailings, at the moment of subscription or of purchase, and also lifecycle mailings, with anniversaries, re-engagements with the users that stopped responding or interacting, friendly reminders, and so on.
THEA is available even on the Lite plan, which is excellent for you to practice and test before investing in a paying plan. The sole difference is that that you can only have one THEA campaign on in Lite, while you can have an unlimited number of campaigns in every other plan.
The Autoresponder and the Follow-Up Mails are also essential features of CleverReach’s automation feature. Based on user behavior, you can do an efficient follow-up of your users and give them the most precise and customized information at the right time.
Also, worthy of mentioning is the ability to tag your recipients, to send more targeted content, and increase the odds of getting positive replies.
Reports and Tracking
CleverReach is among the most complete e-mail marketing platforms around, regarding the tracking and reporting capabilities. It is possible to analyze all kinds of rates: the openings, the clicks, and the unsubscribers (as well as to see all the unsubscribers). The Conversion Tracking allows us to check the all-important sales rate, analyze it, and check how the communication is performing regarding actual conversion. Optimizing the behavior of the newsletter with A/B Testing is crucial to develop and increases the chance of getting positive replies. The Bounce Management option, a multi-level tool, allows you to optimize the delivery rates. You can even edit links in the already sent newsletter. Export reports for internal sharing or further analysis are also possible (in CSV, Excel, and PDF formats).
The Quality Assessment options of the platform are especially interesting. These tools allow the marketer to analyze, in a direct way, the results of subject lines and click rates. Instead of searching data in a one-by-one way, trying to check out the reasons for the click rates and which subject lines showed the best results, the platform brings the data together and gives you reports about it. The marketer’s work is sped up, allowing him to focus on what’s important and relevant.
Integration with other apps and services is essential, and few apps are as widely used as Google Analytics. Even at a local level, the amount of data brought by Google Analytics (geography, time, by device or operational system, etc.) is bread-and-butter for every marketer. If you’re going to a state, national, or international level, its relevance increases. This means that the ability to gather analytics with your newsletter reports could be handy, to say the least – for some marketers, it would be something they would never relinquish, after starting using.
The options are stats of the Click Performance of CleverReach, which is also determinant for the successful use of the platform. If you try it out at Lite Plan and it seems good, you should know that free users only have access to the basic reporting; all paying users will have the advanced mode regarding Click Performance. You’ll easily check out differences on click performances based on opening times, mobile or desktop devices, operational systems, the nature of links used, and more.
Every plan includes the free service of the Support Team by e-mail. The response time of the team is up to 72 hours. For those willing to pay and needing immediate answers, there is the Premium Support available in every plan (including Lite, as the company believes this could be a good way to convince freemium users to upgrade to a paying plan). On Premium, support will be provided via phone, and the response time of e-mail requests is up to 24 hours.
Anyway, for those wanting to learn for themselves, there is a robust FAQ center with the most common issues. The platform also includes free video instructions for every kind of question that might appear – especially regarding the interface of the platform and how the features work.back to menu ↑
Pros and Cons
Now, let’s check out the main pros and cons of the e-mail marketing service CleverReach.
The model based on five plans (one free and four paying) might be a little confusing at first sight. However, given that this is for professionals to use, it shouldn’t be a big deal for an experienced marketer. Actually, the five plans give pricing a good deal of flexibility, which can only be good for any business.
The free Lite plan has to be considered a good promo of CleverReach. You can do pretty decent testing of the platform’s potential with it, having a sizeable sample of up to 250 subscribers. And most of the features of the platform are available in it.
It’s easy to import lists and to segment them into several sub-lists. This is always an essential tool to e-mail marketers, so it’s important you don’t have to do it manually. The service allows managing lists in a very smooth way.
If there is something where CleverReach stands out, it regards the reporting and tracking abilities. From click performance to Google Analytics, from auto-responding tracking to the analysis of conversions and sales of an integrated online shop, this is a paradise for data lovers.
Easy to use
All in all, the platform is quite easy to learn and to use. The developing team applied solid design principles to it, and new users seldom get confused, even with all the available possibilities regarding tracking, the THEA automation center, etc.
It’s a pity that the workflows designed at the THEA center are separate from the standard campaigners. Hopefully, it’s something that the development team will fix shortly.
You have to create landing pages externally and then import them. For this, you should have a good web designer working with you. However, if this is the case, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Formularies Not Responsive
Another feature to improve is the fact that, unlike template newsletters, the forms are not mobile responsive. For marketers frequently relying on mobile campaigns or targeting a high percentage of mobile users among its subscribers’ list, this could quickly become a no-go.
The drag & drop works fine most of the time, but some details could be improved. Users lack an Undo button that could apply to the editor as a whole, for instance. The fact that it is not possible to customize the fonts, although it seems trivial, could become quite disturbing if your company’s branding relies on a specific font, and it is not available. Your newsletters would appear out of touch with the rest of your branding, and you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.back to menu ↑
Alternatives to CleverReach
What kind of competition is there for this service?
From neighboring Poland, GetResponse is one of the most used platforms around. The company claims to deliver mailing to more than one billion subscribers across more than 180 countries.
Some tests revealed that GetResponse is recommended for marketers wanting to get customer leads, as it’s an excellent tool for this. For an online shop, the platform includes integration with Shopify or Magento, dynamic e-mail content, the tracking of sales, and more. It is also suitable for automation, although the most appealing features are only available in the most expensive plans.
However, GetResponse might be a little behind its competitors regarding the deliverability of its mailings, which is always a fundamental feature of a service like this. If you’re relying on your e-mail marketing for the growth of your business, you might want to beware of it.
Undoubtedly one of the most well-known platforms around, MailChimp is indeed one of the most effective. The company claims to send around 600 million e-mails per month.
Marketers feel that MailChimp has an excellent pack of reporting features, including geo-tracking, Google Analytics integration, client performance analysis, and more. It wouldn’t be behind CleverReach, in most aspects. The free plan is, like the Lite, as mentioned earlier, quite generous as it shows the user the true potential of the platform. The template editor of MailChimp is also quite celebrated.
Critics of MailChimp say that it can quickly become expensive as the user’s needs increase too. It is likely a case of marketing prominence, as MailChimp came to the fore in the last decade. For many clients, it is challenging to consider a change after being so used to what is, in fact, an excellent platform. Notwithstanding, some users point out that the automation features of MailChimp can be limited compared with some rivals.