Whether you are a current ecommerce store owner or a budding online seller looking to make a start, you should hopefully be aware of the value that email marketing can bring your business.
The process of choosing the right email marketing software for your company however could leave you with a headache. There are plenty of options available and this has made the market quite saturated.
Email marketing is intrinsically linked with your sales, marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) operations. Get this right and the process of identifying when and what type of emails you should send to your cold, warm and qualified leads becomes a seamless process that can have a massive impact on your online business.
All of the varying software options come with their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, so careful and methodical research is required to ensure you are finding the best fit for you.
However we have made this easier for you by producing a snapshot of the pros and cons of one of the industry's biggest players in Constant Contact.
Constant Contact Review: Overview
Constant Contact are one of the longest established email providers in the world. The company was set up in 1995, a mere 4 years after Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web as we know it.
As they were around during the infancy of the internet, this has helped to instill them as a major player and they boast over 650,000 customers in 180 different countries. All of the companies using their service send a total of 200 million emails per day.
What makes Constant Contact a great competitor for the likes of tools like MailChimp and Get Response, is the fact that the technology is always evolving. Constant Contact have consistently added new features like surveys, social campaigns, and even website building tools to the mix over the years. Many of the other leaders in the email landscape don’t provide the same diversity.
In the past, Constant Contact did have it’s own events management tool too, however, this was eventually removed. Instead, you need to use the Eventbrite integration to access similar features today. The good news is that Eventbrite is just one of the many integrations available from Constant Contact today. There are over 400 apps and integrations that support today’s business leaders.
Constant Contact Review: Pricing
When looking at the pricing page you can be misled into thinking that there are just two pricing plans, one at $20 a month and one at $45.
However, if you delve a little deeper these two prices are only available if you have up to 500 contacts in your account.
For example, if you move up to 500-2500 contacts on the Email Plus package then the price will rise to $70 a month.
Notably, no matter which package you choose for your email marketing with Constant Contact, you can unlock a range of features. The email plan gives you a selection of powerful tools for sending professional emails and growing your contact list. However, email plus is the better option if you’re looking for an opportunity to take your marketing to the next level with automation, dynamic content, surveys, and more.
Websites and online stores for Constant Contact are also available now. These tools aren’t just add-ons, they’re included as part of Email Plus and your Email account with no additional cost. There's also a 1.5% transaction fee charged for each sale made through an online store. If you’d like to use a custom domain on your website, you can purchase one, or connect something that you already own.
Both packages offer unlimited emails which is a great advantage. The only difference is that the Email Plus package offers 10 users as opposed to 1 and has a bigger file storage capacity in 2GB rather than 1GB.
Constant Contact offers a pay in advance service so that you can save on your monthly costs. Pay for 6 months up front and you will receive 10% off. Pay for 12 months and you will receive 15% off.
Free Trial Plan – a 30-day free trial is offered to you before you sign up and you can cancel at any point without being charged.
You can upload as many contacts as you like during the free trial. How many you have at the end of your free trial will determine what contract you are on.
Visit here to sign up to your Constant Contact free trial.
Constant Contact also offers various discounts for nonprofits too. You can get 20% off a prepaid 6-month account with Constant Contact, or 30% off if you choose the 12-month pre-pay option. Currently, there’s no discount if you’re just paying on a month-to-month basis.
Constant Contact Review: Features
The features listed below that include the bracket (Plus) are only available on the Email Plus package which starts at $45 as opposed to the $20 a month package.
The smart and intuitive email editor makes it easy for people from any background to customize and create beautiful emails that stand out on any device.
Contact Management – very handy that you can upload your contacts from Excel or Outlook or a CRM service such as Salesforce. You have the option to personalise your contact with tags as well such as “Instagram Fan”, “Hot lead” or “Lost customer”
List-Building Tools – growing your list is essential so Constant Contact uses an easily integrated sign up form that you can place on your website. Alternatively you can use their Facebook app to begin collecting contact information from your fans
Tracking & Reporting – view your sends, opens, click throughs and more with simple to understand reports. You can also compare various campaigns, view click maps and compare the performance between desktop and mobile
Customizable Templates – choose from over 100 email templates which are all mobile-responsive. If you are a small business you can also take advantage of their range of free stock images, rather than taking out a pricey subscription with a stock photo provider
Image Library – as well as accessing free images you can also purchase images through Bigstock at a discounted rate. You can also integrate with your social media platforms to enable you to easily upload from Facebook and Instagram
Marketing Calendar – an online and printable marketing calendar is available to ensure you don’t miss any important holidays
Email Scheduling – schedule your emails for the future, additionally, Constant Contact will give you feedback based on your most successful sending times, as well as the best industry standard
Mobile App – take your emails with you whilst on the go. You can view reports as well as schedule emails right from the app
Email marketing automation – Email marketing automation through Constant Contact gives companies the freedom to work smarter when connecting with consumers. There are welcome email solutions for new subscribers, triggered email series, contact segmentation, and the option to resend emails to people who don’t open their messages initially. You can also unlock Constant Contact’s powerful selection of list-building tools.
Email Plus Features:
Email Automation (Plus) – allows you to schedule emails automatically for your customers. Ideal for programming emails to be sent out to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries
Event Marketing (Plus) – plan and manage attendees for upcoming pop-ups, events or fundraisers, as well as sending event invitations
Online Donations (Plus) – running a charity event? You can track donations from customers in the same place as you’d track open and click-through rates
Surveys & Polls (Plus) – choose from 7 types of survey questions, from sliding scales to multiple choice. You can also attach your polls to your Facebook page or website
Coupons (Plus) – drive sales with mobile-responsive coupons. Get real-time stats on who’s used your coupons and who’s shared it. You can also see who is interested but hasn’t used it to help you convert them into a sale
Subject Line A/B Testing (Plus) – test two subject lines with a percentage of your customers to see which has gathered the best open rate. You can then send the winning subject line to the rest of your list
Other Noteworthy Features
Managing Bounces – if an email soft bounces then it is placed on hold for 15 days before they attempt to resend. Constant Contact also offers a ‘recommended for removal’ section which can help you clear up your list as you go forward
Languages – you have the option to change to 1 of 10 different languages. These languages are mostly European
Social media marketing: Constant Contact now offers a wide selection of social media marketing tools to strengthen your digital presence. Companies can access a full social media inbox, social posting features, and analytics. The reporting information makes it easy to see how social campaigns are performing, while making updates, and ensuring that you can easily respond to comments, or direct messages.
Full integration with Facebook and Instagram ads is available too. You can create social ads that drive website traffic, brand awareness, and sales. Remember to optimize your ads with detailed insights and metrics as you go.
Tracking tools: Constant Contact’s real-time tracking tools mean that companies can see exactly who is clicking on their content in real-time. When you know who’s interacting with and sharing your emails, you can create more effective campaigns. There’s even an option to segment contacts and create more advanced, targeted lists based on the content each person interacts with.
Getting started Guide: Constant Contact ensures that you can leap into email marketing with the right focus. If you’re busy trying to grow a successful business, Constant Contact can help. The company offers a free overview guide of online marketing. This guide covers everything from practical advice on how to help people find you online, to tips on how to set yourself up for success. There’s also insights into how online marketing can work best for you.
Website builder: If you’re stuck struggling to develop an online presence for your brand, then Constant Contact can help. The AI-powered website builder is one of the most recent additions to the Constant Contact environment. With this tool, it’s possible to create a professional-looking, mobile optimized website in a matter of minutes. The solution is absolutely free to use, and it comes with access to high-quality images, templates, and more. If you don’t have a lot of technical skills, the website builder with Constant Contact could save you a lot of time and effort. Drag-and-drop functionality makes life much simpler.
Online store: It’s not just basic websites that Constant Contact supports for modern users, but flexible stores too. If you’re looking for a convenient and engaging way to sell products online, Constant Contact gives you a solution that’s free to set up. The convenient 24-hour eCommerce shop is available to share with consumers all around the world, no matter whether you’re running a small business, or a larger enterprise. Constant Contact stores can sell physical or digital products. The powerful eCommerce platform also ensures excellent experiences for customers on any device.
Constant Contact Review: Ease of Use
Often, when email marketing experts like Constant Contact begin adding extra features to their tools, they can start to suffer from problems, like complexity or confusing back-end environments. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case when setting up email marketing campaigns with Constant Contact. This email marketing solution with it’s own free website and eCommerce builder tools makes getting online and connecting with customers simple.
Creating a campaign is as simple as choosing from Email, event, survey, or automation in your dashboard. Remember, the drag-and-drop editor will help you make your campaigns look incredible too. If you want to revisit or copy a campaign, you can search for keywords or dates in your email marketing service.
For your email marketing campaign, use a template to get started, then switch to the drag-and-drop editor to adjust your layout options. You can tweak things like text, and access Google fonts. There’s also the option to import PDF and blog post teasers into emails.
Once you have a newsletter or campaign ready to go, then you can use automation and scheduling tools to determine when it goes to your customers. These tools are common on competing platforms like SendinBlue and Get Response
One of the other major things that makes Constant Contact so user friendly is the fact that it comes with a wide variety of integration options, including Eventbrite and Shopify. The integration from Eventbrite enables subscribers to respond to polls, RSVP, download new coupons, or even make donations straight from their email address. You can also add products and buy buttons to emails or add abandoned shopping cart emails to follow up with possible customers. This is a huge feature for Direct-to-Consumer e-sellers and retailers.
Constant Contact Review: Customer Support
We all need a little extra help at times, which is why it’s so important to find an email marketing tool that comes with professional support. Constant Contact has a few help options available to choose from. Live support for both chat and calls is offered on both packages. As well as that there is also:
- Knowledge Base – step by step guides, how-to articles and tutorials
- Seminars & Training – webinars and tutorials available online as well as local events (mostly US)
- Community – a forum is available to interact with Constant Contact users as well as a chance to express your feedback for new ideas
Phone support isn’t technically 24/7 in terms of availability, but you still get a generous amount of support. The company remains open from 8am to 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays, and 8am to 9pm on Friday. You can get in touch between 8am and 8pm on Saturday and Sundays too.
If you can’t find anyone to answer your questions about Constant Contact on the traditional channels, you could always consider reaching out through Twitter.
Apps & Integrations
Constant Contact offers 270 apps and integrations that cater from the very obvious to the very niche.
It also integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics which allows you to track the success of your campaigns once they land on your website.
Constant Contact also integrates with many of the popular CRM systems such as Salesforce. Therefore you can dip into your CRM to view your reports and plan follow up campaigns.
Here are some of the most popular app and integration options from Constant Contact:
- Facebook: The official Facebook “join my mailing list” application helps you to collect contacts from your business page with Facebook.
- Eventbrite: This app combines the power of event marketing with email marketing, so you can connect with your audience and promote amazing experiences. Add events to any email template, send follow-up emails, track registrations and more in the same place.
- Salesforce: You can directly integrate Constant Contact with Salesforce. The more information you can collect on your audience, the easier it is to create personal messages for your consumers.
- MINDBODY: This application makes it easier for businesses to streamline day-to-day tasks through time-saving features like online booking, automated task management, client relationship tools, payments, staff scheduling, detailed reports, and point of sale tools.
- QuickBooks: Engage clients, partners, and prospects in real-time with financial information from the QuickBooks app.
- 3DCart eCommerce integration: Seamlessly sync your eCommerce store with your Constant Contact account. Engage your clients, prospects, and partners in seconds.
- Shopify: Through SyncApps, you can automatically sync critical customer data between Constant Contact, and your Shopify eCommerce system.
- WooCommerce: Built on WordPress, and fully open-source, WooCommerce means that you can modify anything and everything you choose. Constant Contact can connect to this feature through Zapier.
- Hootsuite: With HootSuite, you can use the social web to launch marketing campaigns, grow your audience, and distribute targeted messages across channels throughout the web. Enable the app in the Hootsuite app directory to get started.
Who Should Consider Constant Contact? Pros and Cons
Constant Contact is an excellent marketing tool for companies of all shapes and sizes. Although many organizations consider this software to be a better choice for small businesses, rather than large companies, there is some scalability available with Constant Contact.
If you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on email marketing, then Constant Contact will make it easier for you to develop a professional image online. There’s a wide range of templates to choose from, unsubscribe options to help you make the most of your email list, and various other great features to discover.
The free version is a nice option for smaller companies, but you may need to consider upgrading to the email plus plan if you’re serious about email marketing. The more creative companies on the market today may also find that Constant Contact is a bit limited when it comes to things like customization and bespoke elements.
Constant Contact is likely to be the right choice for you if you’re searching for an email marketing tool with advanced features for a low price. With a mobile app for both apple and android, you can control your constant contact email campaigns wherever you go. Additionally, the constant contact pricing structure is good for those who don’t have much money to spend.
The email builder on Constant Contact is really easy to use, and it allows you to handle a lot of tasks besides email sending. For instance, you can get involved with event invitations, registrations, and ticket management if you’re on the email plus plan.
- Deliverability – Constant Contact have one of the best deliverability rates in their field. They are exceptional in delivering to all the major email companies such as Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo
- Email Choice – there is a great range of emails such as classic, newsletters, autoresponders, events, surveys and coupons
- Ease of use – it’s quite simplified and there aren’t a lot of options to choose from so it’s very easy to get the hang of
- Pricing – compared to their competitors they are very competitive on pricing
- Templates – the amount of email templates and images at your disposal makes it very quick and easy to set up a campaign from scratch
- Automation – the automation options are very basic. You have the obvious options such as birthday/anniversary reminders but it stops there. If you are looking for an all-in-one marketing automation software that also serves as a CRM system, then this isn’t for you
- Email Design – despite there being a plethora of email templates and images at your disposal the design of them can be a little restrictive. This means there isn’t a lot of flexibility for editing your email campaigns or sign up forms
Is ConstantContact Suitable for Me?
If you are a small business who doesn’t have the expertise to design HTML email templates and just want an out-of-the-box solution then this is perfect for you.
The first package of up to 500 contacts at $20 is very competitive and is a great starting point. The ease of use of the system and the fantastic options available to you to increase your email list are a great starting point.
Constant Contact will appeal to you if you don’t want to max out your credit card on an email marketing platform. With a free plan trial to explore, and various integrations with other leading tools, this product could make a great alternative to options like Hubspot and MailChimp.
If you need something more sophisticated for your email marketing campaigns, then Constant Contact might not be the right choice. Constant Contact perhaps isn’t for big businesses that are at the stage where they are advanced in their marketing automation.
If you are very conscious about your branding then the templates available may disappoint you due to the fact that they aren’t very customizable. Constant Contact struggles to offer the best features in the market for the more premium plan, even though you get extra elements like landing pages to help you find new customers. You might want to consider an alternative software solution if you want things like advanced list management, analytics, and various customization options.
Constant Contact: Conclusion
Constant Contact is fully aware that they are a solution for small businesses and they play to that strength magnificently. With drag and drop editing, easy uploading for your contact lists, and various other user-friendly features, Constant Contact attracts a wide audience of users. You can use this platform to take your lead management strategy to the next level, collecting clients from LinkedIn, Facebook, and around the web.
The strengths of Constant Contact include ease of use, pricing, great integrations, plus a fantastic deliverability rate to ensure your emails are being seen and read.The website and Facebook sign up forms can ensure that you can start building your list as soon as you start your subscription. What’s more, we also like the fact that Constant Contact comes with information on things like engagement and opening rates.
There are other providers who are offering more sophistication with marketing automation, however Constant Contact knows what they are and they do it very well.
Sign up for your Constant Contact free trial today.