Constant Contact review

Which solution to choose for your email marketing campaign? In this series of articles we will analyze some the best choices – programs and web services – to send newsletters and DEM.

Among all web services for mailing, Constant Contact is definitely one of the best-known, with a customer base of more than 500,000 companies and a solid history of the company – which was founded back in 1998.

Let’s see it in action.

  1. Newsletter creation.

Constant Contact’s dashboard is extremely neat: the starting point of each campaign is a simple screen that contains all references to the basic steps: creation of the email and list setup.

To begin with there are more than 400 free templates, also multi-lingual, sorted in alphabetical order according to the most suitable function (promotions, birthdays, holidays, etc.): a truly remarkable collection that helps greatly to set the layout of a newsletter.

Once you have chosen the template you can insert your content and change its appearance at will, until distorting the basic layout completely, if you like. From this point of view, the editor is a bit scheming and the procedures to save the changes are not very intuitive: in any case, this is compensated by the wide choice of editing options.

The presence of a spam checker also assesses the risk of the newsletter to end up in the junk mail (and suggesting possible solutions to problems: for example, to make a good balance between text and image).

  1. List setup.

Then Constant Contact invites you to choose the list – and, if it’s the case, to prepare it from scratch: an operation that usually a marketer prefers to do before creating a newsletter (as it’s anyway possible on the platform).

If you decide to start from here, it’s remembered clearly the only kind of accepted database is the one obtained by authorization (that is, by an opt-in procedure):

It’s also possible to import contacts from an external file (in .txt, .xls and .csv), or from Gmail, Outlook and other CRM programs. Overall, the operation is very simple.

  1. Mailing.

Before sending you can take a preview of the email but not double-check the list to which you are sending (there is only the name), you can then schedule the delivery at will, as indicated:

It’s a bit unsettling that after scheduling a mailing for “now” (the equivalent of the good old button “Send now”), Constant Contact does not indicate clearly that the email has been sent, but only says, with a small banner, that its “ready to launch”:

Anyway, after waiting about five minutes, the test email arrived without problems: but maybe it would be nice to give more evidence to the fact.

After the mailing, you can share the content on social networks with a feature called “Simple Share” to amplify your reach. Finally, each newsletter contains a link to automatically unsubscribe, to ensure that every recipient can opt-out in one click:

  1. Analytics.

Constant Contact’s reports allow you to keep track of all the main elements of a campaign: open rate, click through rate, number of bounces, and so on. A handy key table helps the less experienced marketer to decipher the various metrics. There’s also a real-time tracking option, and the ability to perform comparative metrics among different campaigns.

If you prefer, however, you can always integrate Google Analytics to any mailing.

  1. Support and extras.

Constant Contact boasts a large community and a vast database of FAQ. The support is available via email 24/7, via live chat Monday through Friday, and by phone as well:

It should be added that Constant Contact also offers other products in addition to its email marketing platform, like EventSpot and Social Campaigns, for a more complete and integrated marketing mix.

  1. Pricing.

You can try Constant Contact for free for 60 days, but there’s no free version available.

The costs of the platform are quite high, with a minimum subscription of $15 per month (for mailings up to 500 contacts), and up to $450 (for mailings up to 100,000 contacts). In any case, you can send as many messages as you like. (And if you choose a prepay there are discounts of 15% and 30% respectively if your company is profit or non-profit).

For databases with over 100,000 contacts, finally, you must contact the company and agree a price.

As a Business development many companies stick to the Email ids from the time of inception. But due to various factors sometimes the company has to move to mail id. So while mailing the bulk emails to various Companies these cannot be identified. Check the undelivered mails and the message will be mentioned please reply to this id. So likewise check all return mails and rectify the Email ids in the data base for a better result. Get more info here.

  1. Conclusion and final vote.

Constant Contact is a complete and valid email marketing platform, which is aimed primarily at small and medium-sized enterprises: its Spartan, professional design and the total lack of frills makes it a great service: safe and reliable. There’s probably still a little something to improve in terms of usability, and certainly the overall cost is quite high: but worth it.

 

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