Constant Contact Review
- Powerful email creation UI
- Easy to use
- Lots of useful templates
- Social media integration
- Good analytics tools
- Subscription costs rise significantly with high contact numbers
- Slow customer support
Score: Atry for free
Dealing with multiple email and social media campaigns or staying in touch with thousands of customers can overwhelm even the most seasoned marketing wizards. Thankfully, the introduction of customer relationship management software made the job plenty easier, particularly the most tedious parts. Without further ado, welcome to our Constant Contact review – a closer look at one of the best CRM software options on the market.
Constant Contact’s story began when a friend group decided to create an online marketing tool to give small businesses an edge against their more developed rivals. The company has since been acquired by the Endurance International Group, an IT megacorporation serving over 5 million businesses, nonprofits, and individuals worldwide. These days Constant Contact offers much more than email marketing software: Marketing automation, social media outreach tools, a powerful website builder, and other services for helping small businesses thrive are all part of the deal now.
Let’s have a look at the main features of this software before we get down to the cost of Constant Contact. As mentioned, this company might have started by providing automated email marketing software, but it has grown far beyond that since.
Email Creation and Automation
Despite adding many new features over the years, email creation and automation remain Constant Contact’s two core pillars. Every campaign starts in the intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which can also create social media posts, ads, events, surveys, landing pages, or even a website or online store.
There are hundreds of mobile-friendly Constant Contact templates which you can easily further customize to your liking. Constant Contact reviews often point out that these templates are somewhat dated, but we found plenty of modern and professional-looking themes, too. And you can customize every single one easily by adding images, videos, RSVPs, polls, options for patrons to donate, and more.
Additionally, you can target specific customers using the dynamic content option, which allows you to show specific content to groups or individuals based on selected preferences (purchase history, age, gender, etc.).
Another neat feature is adding your company branding during template creation. All you have to do is enter the URL of your site, and the Branded Template Builder software will automatically pick up your logo and colors, adjusting the template to match them.
You can even use the Constant Contact toolkit to review your emails and documents for grammatical errors or missing links before sending them out. Finally, there’s the email preview option to check how it will appear to the recipients and whether it will display properly on both desktop and mobile devices.
Constant Contact automation has all the essential tools you’ll need. There are scheduling options, as well as templates for birthday, welcome, milestone, anniversary, and other types of specialized messages, all of which can be personalized for your customers.
Real-time Reporting and Event Management
One of the Constant Contact benefits is the campaign reporting feature, with real-time data. These reports are easy to read and feature self-explanatory graphs to help you quickly gauge the success of your ongoing campaigns and make changes on the fly. You can easily track all sends, bounces, clicks, and opens, which helps keep tabs on where and how a campaign may be in need of adjusting. If you’ve attached surveys or donation options to your emails, you can track their progress in real time too.
But the benefits of Constant Contact don’t end here, either. Event promotion and registration collection are further improved by the unique ability to track sign-ups and ticket sales in real time. While not as specialized as some other platforms, the event management tools offered by Constant Contact are a trademark only found with the very best software for email marketing.
In addition to manually uploading contacts, you can also import them from files, email services such as Gmail and Outlook, or productivity tools like Excel. Constant Contact’s list review is automatic, and once the contact information is safely within the internal database, you won’t need to do almost anything manually. This includes watching for inactive email addresses or people who unsubscribe from your mailing lists, tracking bounced emails, and so on. You can also quickly delete duplicate contacts from Constant Contact’s database.
Another aspect of contact management is list segmentation, which allows you to customize your contact list by creating specialized groups for mailing purposes based on various custom criteria. This is done through contact tags, which, as most reviews of Constant Contact will tell you, work similarly to their social media counterparts: Add any sort of tag to a client, track their interests, and then use it for advertising specific subjects to them. You can also grow your list by embedding sign-up forms, pop-ups, and customizable landing pages.
In addition to emailing tools, Constant Contact has some serious eCommerce capabilities to boast about. You can create a store but also integrate eCommerce features into your email marketing campaigns – purchase confirmations, trackable email coupons, cart abandonment notifications, to name a few. Social media eCommerce ads are straightforward to create, too.
Any good Constant Contact review or comparison will also mention its powerful website builder, which guides you through each step of creating your own landing page, website, or eCommerce store. Pick a design from a vast number of preset templates and customize everything from the layout to the fonts and color palettes used. The stores themselves can host an unlimited item amount, but Constant Contact will charge a 1.5% transaction fee for it.
The fantastic array of native integrations with various social and eCommerce platforms is something most constantcontact.com reviews will mention. For example, you can easily connect Constant Contact with Facebook to add email addresses or new subscribers collected on your Facebook page to the mailing list of your choice.
You can also integrate your mailing software with big eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and Salesforce. This allows for sending branded abandoned cart emails, easily traceable discount and coupon insertion, goods, and services promotion, lead and account synchronization, and more.
The 20+ platform integration list contains WordPress, Eventbrite, QuickBooks Online, Google Sheets, Squarespace, and many other popular apps, mostly enabled through Zapier. Excellent mobile integration with both iOS and Android software is also a Constant Contact staple.
The next section of our Constant Contact review will cover the overall experience of using one of the top email marketing platforms in 2021. We will talk about ease-of-use, the user interface, mobile apps, and customer support.
Setup and User Interface
As this is a web-based platform, you can get started right away, without any app installations. Creating a new campaign is an intuitive process that requires merely choosing what you need from the email, event, and survey templates. The software will automatically guide you through the remaining steps of creating your desired document.
You won’t find many Constant Contact complaints regarding the overall design and user interface. Everything from the main dashboard and email creation interface to the streamlined analytics tools is designed to automate online marketing services, supporting even complete beginners. The same applies to the website creator tool, which guides users through the process of making everything from landing pages to eCommerce platforms.
While the website is mobile-friendly by default, you might prefer using dedicated apps for iOS and Android. If you want to be notified about potential Constant Contact problems or simply like to keep an eye on your campaign efforts wherever you go, apps for both systems will be up to the task.
Constant Contact’s support is something of a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have many options available: You can reach the support team through email, phone, or live chat, consult the rich knowledge database on the site, or ask around on the company’s online forums. However, if you opt for direct contact, the customer support team can sometimes be slow to respond to queries, particularly via email.
Furthermore, if we were to do a Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp comparison, the latter has round-the-clock customer support while the Constant Contact team doesn’t work 24/7. Instead, their working hours are from 8 AM to 10 PM Monday to Thursday, 8 AM to 9 PM on Fridays, and 10 AM to 8 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
Singing the praises of this versatile software and learning all the ways it’ll serve you is all well and good, but at this point, you must surely be asking yourself the inevitable: How much does Constant Contact cost? Let us give you the bad news first – there is, in fact, no Constant Contact free plan. The best you can hope for is a 30-day free trial on your chosen plan.
First off, you should know that Constant Contact fees correspond directly to the number of contacts or subscribers you use the software for. The starting plan is simply called Email and will run you anywhere between $20 and $335 each month, depending on whether you have up to 500 or as many as 50,000 people included in your mailing lists.
Constant Contact pricing starts at $45/month with the Email Plus plan but evens out with the basic plan if you have more than 10,000 contacts – a much better deal for a growing business. It adds a whole slew of additional features to the basic package, too, including advanced eCommerce marketing and email tools, RSVPs, surveys, polls, coupons, new customer consultations, and more.
If you pay for six or twelve months in advance, you can also get a 10% or 15% discount, respectively. Constant Contact nonprofit pricing also cuts a whopping 30% off the subscription price, in line with the company’s dedication to helping small businesses and charity organizations even the playing field with larger corporations.
In addition to emailing solutions for marketers, Constant Contact also lets you buy just the website-builder software. For $10 per month, you will get a mobile-friendly web platform with free hosting and unlimited storage, website analytics, the ability to make infinite sales and accept online payments (with a 1.5% trading fee per sale), coupons, customer support, and every other website-related service you can think of.
We’ve come to the end of our Constant Contact review, and if you’ve been reading carefully so far, you already know what we think. Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing platforms out there, offering plenty of bonus features, some of them unique. The main downside compared to, say, Mailchimp is the lack of a free plan and the sluggish customer support team.
What is the purpose of Constant Contact?
Constant Contact provides online marketing services. These include everything from email campaigns, newsletters, and creating online events to social media outreach. They also connect clients with lead-generation and marketing professionals and help them develop their own websites and eCommerce platforms.
Is Mailchimp better than Constant Contact?
Where you stand in the Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact debate depends mostly on your usage scenarios and budget. Mailchimp offers a completely free version and has some more customizable aspects. On the other hand, Constant Contact has more useful templates and tools, as well as some excellent native features saving you from relying on too many external app integrations.
Is Constant Contact secure?
Yes, of course. They hold EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield certification and use the latest encryption technology on their website and servers, ensuring that your confidential data remains secure.
Is there a free version of Constant Contact?
Unfortunately, as mentioned in our Constant Contact review above, the company doesn’t offer any free plans at the moment. That being said, both of the Constant Contact pricing plans offer a 30-day free trial, so you can test every feature out in detail before committing financially.