In this review, we look at how it works and how it can turn your email marketing campaigns into sales driving successes.
What Is Constant Contact Used For?
Constant Contact is en email marketing software that enables you to easily create, track and follow-up email marketing campaigns.
It can be used to promote any product, business or service.
Constant Contact has been around since 2005 and is now used by over half a million users worldwide.
Constant Contact is aimed at small to medium sized businesses although big companies and enterprises will find it limited.
Some of the highlights of Constant Contact include event management tools, surveys, social campaigns, email marketing automation and recurring newsletters.
How Much Does It Cost To Use Constant Contact?
First the important bit. It has to be said that Constant Contact is relatively expensive compared to its competitors although it depends on how many subscribers you have.
For instance if you have just a modest 2,500 subscribers, you’ll be looking at $45 per month to use Constant Contact. Anything over 50,000 and you’re looking at a hefty $335 per month.
There are also two types of Constant Contact plan – Email and Email Plus.
The Email Plan includes all the basics such as list management, template building and audience segmentation.
Email Plus is for more advanced needs and features A/B testing, automated email marketing, even marketing and registration, online surveys, donations and more.
Although all the essential features are there, there are several alternatives such as GetResponse which offer more advanced features – such as webinars and advanced email marketing automation tools – for a lower price.
We do like the fact however that Constant Contact offers a 60 day money back guarantee if you do subscribe and aren’t satisfied.
You can also try Constant Contact for free for 60 days although the trial is limited to just 100 contacts.
How To Import Contacts Into Constant Contact
You can import contacts into Constant Contact in various ways.
The easiest is to upload a CSV, TXT, XLS or XLSX file but you can also import from Microsoft Outlook and other CRM software tools.
The smart thing is that you can upload multiple contacts and Constant Contact is smart enough to merge duplicate contacts into one.
Constant Contact also supports Mailinator and other disposable addresses which expire (also known as “burner email addresses).
You cannot use group email addresses however such as info@ as you need to verify that you have consent from each contact to send mailouts. This is to prevent email spamming.
Constant Contact Templates
Constant Contact looks a bit basic at first sight but it’s extremely easy to navigate and use.
We did notice that the interface can be a little bit slow to respond at times however.
Constant Contact has a choice of around 100 mail out templates and allows you to create your own reusable email templates.
Some of the templates are certainly better than others but there’s enough there for most tastes and needs.
There’s also a feature called “Brand your email” which allows you to brand newsletters based on your website’s color and logos.
The WYSIWYG editor makes it simple to add buy buttons, social blocks, call to action buttons and more.
Email Automation Features
It’s easy to configure auto-responders from the Email Automation features in the Campaign options menu.
You can select things such as how long to wait before sending the follow-up email, how many you want to send and whether you want to send the emails to a specific set of contacts.
There are also abandoned cart campaigns (for Shopify) to capture those customers that haven’t completed a purchase.
The automation features aren’t as customizable in Constant Contact compared to many other solutions we’ve tried but they’re certainly enough for most small businesses.
Constant Contact Support
Phone support isn’t 24/7 but is available during extended business hours with Constant Contact.
We have read about problems when cancelling accounts although Constant Contact insist that as long you phone, your cancellation request will be processed immediately.
Constant Contact WordPress Integration
One of the things we like about Constant Contact is the WordPress integration.
Constant Contact Forms makes it easy to capture visitor information from your WordPress site.
This includes things like email addresses, contact info and visitor feedback.
Apart from WordPress integration, there’s also a Constant Contact API which allows you to integrate your own software or service with it.
There are over 400 third party integrations for Constant Contact including for Gmail, Facebook, Office 365 and iOS, many of which are free.
Connecting to accounting solutions such as Xero costs an extra $9 a month though and Shopify Connector is $5 per month.
Constant Contact vs Mailchimp
Constant Contact and Mailchimp have a lot in common and in terms of usability, feel very similar. However, Mailchimp wins out in various respects.
Mailchimp has less templates but they’re arguably more attractive than Constant Contact’s. Mailchimp also has more email marketing automation features than Constant Contact.
The Registration Forms in Mailchimp has more options for custom fields, color tweaking and font management.
Mailchimp has superior spam testing and reporting features include geo-tracking and useful things like newlsetter success per email provider (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc).
In terms of price, Mailchimp also has a much more generous free plan compared to Constant Contact.
Constant Contact has plenty of reporting tools to help you monitor the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
There are standard open, spam and bounce rates along with heat maps, opened by device and most successful by subject line stats.
Unfortunately advanced e-commerce tracking isn’t available in Constant Contact. This is line with the lack of refined marketing automation features which hold it back a bit.