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CleverReach
3.81

CleverReach: Pros and Cons of the Newsletter Software

robert brandl
Professor

CleverReach is already ranked among the major do-it-yourself email marketing tools in the European market. Set up in Germany in 2007, the company claims that its newsletter software is now used by over 220,000 customers. And now it looks like it’s time to conquer the English-speaking market too…

The first thing worth mentioning is that CleverReach has some very interesting features, including A/B split testing, dynamic content blocks, RSS campaigns, and order reports for online stores.

With the Free plan, you can send up to 10,000 emails to as many as 2500 subscribers (available in US, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia only), although you do have to put up with some adverts. Then again, you can take advantage of email marketing automation and one-to-one support. Your other options are the Prepaid (pay as you go), Prepaid Monthly, Flat Rate, and High Volume plans.

We’ve taken a closer look at the tool to help you decide whether or not this provider could be the right choice for you.

2,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$0/MO

Free plan with some limitations

2,600 SUBSCRIBERS

$30/MO

Flat Rate plan

5,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$50/MO

Flat Rate plan

7,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$79/MO

Flat Rate plan

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$89/MO

Flat Rate plan

15,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$109/MO

Flat Rate plan

20,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$134/MO

Flat Rate plan

30,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$219/MO

Flat Rate plan

40,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$239/MO

Flat Rate plan

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$249/MO

Flat Rate plan

75,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$299/MO

Flat Rate plan

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$399/MO

Flat Rate plan

125,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$559/MO

Flat Rate plan

Please note that monthly plans can be changed or canceled every month. Prepaid options are also available.

Good deliverability:

In our most recent tests, CleverReach was able to get 92% of all emails delivered successfully, which is well above average.

Free plan:

There is no charge for the first 2500 subscribers and you can send up to 10,000 emails every month without having to pay a thing.

Use your own domain name for links:

You can use your own (sub-)domain name for tracking links without any extra costs, which is an advantage in terms of branding.

Not all templates responsive:

It’s a bit of a rarity (not in a good sense) but at CleverReach you can still come across templates that are not fully optimized for cell phones.

Newsletter editor:

While it’s generally an efficient editor, it could do with some updates. For example, the designs of their call-to-action buttons look pretty outdated.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

The tool has a neat and tidy layout with lots of help buttons offering explanations in a flash.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

The editor is based on a drag-and-drop system that is fairly decent for the most part. Having said that, there is definitely room for improvement. For instance, there is no “Undo” feature that applies to the editor as a whole. Not to mention that it’s not exactly easy to create layouts using columns. The “call-to-action” buttons sadly all look a little outdated.

Personalization

yes

There is a convenient if/then/else editor for dynamic text blocks like salutations. You can even target individual content blocks to specific segments of your user base. This way you are able to fully customize the content of your newsletters.

Email types

Individual and regular campaigns, autoresponders, A/B split testing, RSS campaigns, and follow-up campaigns.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

There are around 60 ready-made template designs that are also responsive (“Design Templates” category). On top of these, you can also take your pick from several basic templates that you can use to put together your own designs (“Responsive” category). The templates in the remaining categories are not responsive, however, and they don’t look particularly nice either.

Email Automation

You can set up workflows using the THEA automation center, although these are sadly still separate from the standard campaigns. However, there are plenty of features, such as tagging and follow-up campaigns, and purchases can be incorporated into these workflows.

List Management

There are a number of different options for importing lists and it is easy to divide them into segments.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process

The editor for forms used to register and unsubscribe may be straightforward, but the forms themselves are not responsive unfortunately. There is the option of double opt-in. If you’re on the Free or Prepaid plan, you’ll have to put up with a CleverReach advertising button if you don’t host your own forms.

Deliverability

CleverReach has continued to improve deliverability over time and our most recent tests only revealed problems with a few smaller free email services. On Gmail, our test newsletters even managed to land right in the main inbox every time.

Reports and Analysis

Here you get everything you could ever wish for, including geographic and email client analysis. Google Analytics tracking strings are generated automatically. If you have an online store, you can monitor conversions and sales too.

Languages

Available in English, German, Spanish, Dutch, French and Italian. Sending works with UTF-8 coding, which is compatible with any language of your choice.

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

Tests are run to determine the risk of being caught by the main spam filters. There is also the option of testing how emails are displayed by standard email clients (via Litmus). Both of these tests incur a charge.

Bounce Management

yes

Recipients are deactivated automatically after the third hard bounce.

Blacklist

yes

Import and export facilities are provided.

Storage available for data and images

5MB - 1GB

The Free plan comes with 5 MB. Storage space of 1 GB is provided for users with monthly plans and prepaid usage.

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM are supported. Compliance with GDPR is also guaranteed and the company is a member of the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA).

Own Domain

yes

You can use your own (sub-)domain name for tracking links and you can set the sender email address as you wish.

Different levels of account access

yes

Various users of CleverReach can be assigned different access rights. There is also an agency solution that allows you to grant access to customers or individual departments (within a larger enterprise).

Integrations

yes

Zapier, WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce, Sage, SugarCRM, and many more. APIs are another option available.

Landing Page Editor

no

Landing pages have to be created externally.

Support

4/5

Ticket system and knowledge base: We found the level of email support offered during our tests to be reasonable.

Overall rating

3.8/5

CleverReach offers a very decent range of features. It’s also really quick and easy for beginners to get to grips with the software. It would be ideal if they expanded their range of responsive templates, though.

The wide range of features on offer makes CleverReach a decent choice for users sending both small and larger volumes of emails. On the whole, working with this newsletter tool is nice and straightforward.

For us, one area of criticism lies with the templates. In fact, we really aren’t sure why designs are still available if they are not responsive. It makes it all seem a bit behind the times. The forms are unfortunately not responsive either, as standard.

On the other hand, the THEA email automation module is rather exciting, as it can be used to set up automated campaigns in a workflow view. We were also delighted to discover that CleverReach’s deliverability is improving slowly but surely, securing a top position in our most recent test.

> Click here for a CleverReach free trial

robert brandl
This review was written by Robert Brandl. He has years of email marketing experience under his belt. First he supported larger cooporations before he started EmailToolTester, his passion project. There he helps small and medium-sized businesses find the right newsletter service.

Latest Updates

26 Mar 2019 – Initial review
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