New Pricing and New Editions for Bronto

Tomorrow, there are two big changes happening at Bronto. We are changing our pricing model to the more standard CPM pricing and tiering our product into multiple editions.
We’ve been looking at this change for over a year and have been very focused on it for the last three months. Of course, transitioning over 750 customers from one pricing scheme to another is no easy task so we’ll be working to migrate them slowly over the rest of 2008.

So, here is what’s happening:

CPM Pricing

For the last five years, we have priced our clients’ subscriptions by the number of the contacts stored in the application (i.e., list size.) This worked great in the early days because we primarily had small business-to-business customers. As we grew and our business and product became more sophisticated, we attracted more sophisticated clients that sent at higher volumes. Since list size mattered less and sending capacity mattered more to them, the model became tougher to match with our clients’ needs and trickier to manage operationally.

So, we are changing. The new model is simple — commit to a certain number of email sends and you receive a CPM rate (cost per thousand emails). Your CPM rate goes down with the more sending volume that you commit to — just like a cell phone plan. But, unlike a cell phone plan, we sweetened the deal by not charging penalties for exceeding your commitment. You pay for anything beyond your commitment at your normal CPM rate.

Multiple Editions

We are also breaking our product into three editions — Core, Professional and Agency. We’ve had the Agency Edition in some form for many years. But, now we added its own distinct management application with some pretty cool reporting and client management features (plus one-click client morphing!)

Outside of Agency, there had always been the one regular Bronto account. No longer. There is now Core and Professional.

The Core Edition is targeted at smaller businesses that have lighter email marketing needs. It is ideal for clients looking for better deliverability, more responsive support and broader feature set than one might find at Constant Contact and other lower-end competitors. The price is only $995 / year for 60,000 emails (5,000 / month) so it is a great value for what you get.

The Professional Edition is our flagship edition and includes more consultative service and support, more flexible pricing, and access to advanced features like dynamic content, web analytics integration, and conversion analytics and reporting. In the upcoming Spring Release, we are doing a big push for transactional messaging and triggers which will all go into this edition. This edition is priced around the annual send commitment at a given CPM rate.

Tomorrow is the exciting beginning of a new era for Bronto and the end of a lot of work in nailing down all the details for this big change.

I’ve been running less in the last couple weeks because of all the work required to get the new pricing and editions out the door. Hopefully, I’ll have a little bit more time in the upcoming week to get some good runs in. It’s supposed to hit 70F in Durham today — so I’m going to go for a long run and think through some of other big things brewing at Bronto.

  • Is there a service that you can recommend for smaller companies and agencies? I’m a freelance web designer, and I’d love to offer email marketing to my clients. However, even the Core pricing is going to be difficult to justify at our size.
    I have clients with 200-1000 contacts that would like to send out emails quarterly or every two months. Alternatively, could I as an “agency” sign up for the Core product and spread the cost across 5-10 clients?
    I know it’s often not worth it to sell to and support small clients, but I’m hoping I can find a way to grow into your service.
    Hi JR –
    I see a couple options with Bronto. Like you mentioned, you could go with Core and split the account across a few clients. This could work if you do all the work for the clients. I generally don’t recommend this because it is too risky to send one client’s message another client’s list — although it can work.
    Another option is to sign up for the Agency Edition. This lets you private label Bronto as your own email marketing solution and give you a great tool for managing multiple accounts. But, you need enough volume for it to make it worth the $2400 for the agency application. It has unlimited client accounts so it really scales well once you do have that volume. Here’s some back of the envelope math for this one — 5 clients, sending 1000 contacts, once a quarter would be (4 quarters * 5 clients * 1000 contacts = ) 20,000 sends per year. That would be roughly $3600 year or $300 / month or $60 / month per client. That might be close to your range but it all depends on the volume. Plus, it is a really nice agency application. Something at least worth a peak.
    Of course, there are more self-service lower volume providers out there. They can be a great place to start. The king of the simple ESPs is Constant Contact so they would be on my short list if I were looking to spend very little money. Also, I would take a peek at Campaign Monitor. They like to gear things to web designers who have low volume customers who pay per send. There might be a fit there.
    Let us know if you need any more help. We would be happy to walk you through the Core or Agency Edition to see if it make sense for you.

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