Constant Contact Review: Excellent Marketing Software for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Constant Contact Review: Excellent Marketing Software for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Ideal for small businesses and nonprofits looking for an easy-to-use email marketing platform.

Pros

  • Makes it easy for users to create professional newsletters and emails without requiring any technical expertise
  • Easy to import existing contact lists from multiple sources and file formats
  • Strong list management and segmentation functionality
  • High email deliverability rate of 97% and emails comply with current CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other alternatives on the market depending on the number of email contacts you have
  • Limited automation capabilities and A/B split testing functionality
  • Not ideal for important emails, since there's some chance that emails end up in the spam folder

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

Table of Contents

Constant Contact Pricing

  • Free 60 day trial through our referral link (no credit card required)
  • Pricing based on number of email contacts, starting at $20/month
  • Receive 15% off if you pay 6 months in advance; nonprofits can receive up to 30% off by prepaying

Full Review

With over 650,000 users all over the world, Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing providers in the world. The system is best known for its user-friendly interface that helps small businesses and nonprofits create targeted email campaigns. Users are able to create professional-looking emails through an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which requires no technical expertise or coding abilities in order to get started. You can also customize any of the pre-built templates in order to match your business's branding and messaging.

Constant Contact has similar email marketing capabilities to other software providers, although the company’s exceptional customer service separate them from the crowd. Setting the industry standard, users have access to phone support from Monday-Friday during business hours, in addition to online chat, email, and an extensive knowledge base of in-depth articles and video tutorials. The company also offers frequent online webinars and live neighborhood workshops to share knowledge about all aspects of email marketing. Compared to its major competitors, Constant Contact is a smart decision for companies who will require exceptional customer support.

Key Features

Constant Contact is an all-in-one email marketing software that helps you effectively communicate with your subscriber list and customer base. Below, we will discuss the key features of Constant Contact and how they can be used to benefit your business or nonprofit.

Campaign Setup

Constant Contact offers various campaign options to help you target specific business goals and objectives. In addition to the standard emails, businesses can manage the entire process of events (invitations, registration, payment processing and reporting), send trackable coupons to reward customers, and conduct surveys to gather valuable feedback.

Constant Contact Review Campaign Setup

Creating and Customizing Emails

Constant Contact has over 100 different email templates to choose from. There are templates for various specific purposes (i.e. fundraisers, thank you letters, product promotions). Compared to MailChimp, Constant Contact has substantially more template options available.

Constant Contact Review Email Templates

Drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to create a well-designed email in minutes. Text, images, and colors can all be changed to align with your brand. A built-in library lets you store frequently used images, such as logos or photography, for easy access. There are limitations though, as storage is capped at 2GB on the highest plan, whereas MailChimp offers unlimited space for free. However, for most users, 2GB worth of storage should be more than sufficient.

One new feature that is particularly useful in improving click-through rates and overall conversions are Action Blocks. Action Blocks are drag-and-drop sections that encourage users to respond to your email in one click without having to leave their inbox. As an example, your subscribers can RSVP to an event or purchase a pre-sale product with one click.

Constant Contact Review Drag and Drop Builder

When it’s time to launch your email campaign, you will be asked to select an associated list, fill in the subject information and enter a contact address. Email Plus users will have the option to schedule email sends for a later date, while users on the entry-level plans are only able to send emails immediately. However, all users can save drafts to be edited at a later date. Here's an example of what an email template looks like:

Constant Contact Review Email Example

Once your email has been sent, you can monitor and manage all campaigns from the dashboard. Users can create custom folders to stay organized, while filtering by campaign type (email, automation, event, etc.) and status (draft, active, inactive). A quick overview of open and click rates ensures you stay up to date about the performance of each campaign.

Constant Contact Review Campaign Dashboard

Subscriber Lists

Constant Contact provides several options to import contacts to your mailing list. For example, you can upload contacts by uploading a file (xls, xlsx, vcf, csv, txt) in Constant Contact, or by importing contacts from Gmail or Outlook. You can also add contacts by connecting with a variety of other CRM apps. It’s important to note that you should fill in all fields that you need (such as name, address, website) before uploading contacts from a file, as several users have reported that it can be time-consuming to add this information back in at a later date.

Constant Contact Review Add Contacts

Uploaded contacts are added to specific mailing lists, allowing you to send highly targeted campaigns. The software makes it extremely easy to move contacts from one list to another, and users can also merge lists together in a few clicks. Tags can be incorporated to refine your list further and to identify subscribers based on your objectives. As an example, you can use tags such as 'location', 'interests', or 'new customers' to create a sub-group of contacts in a list.

Constant Contact Review List Management

The quality of your list is critical, since inactive, non-verified or unwarranted email addresses can reduce deliverability rates, increase your email costs, and result in spam complaints. Buying or renting email lists are against Constant Contact's usage policy, and the company prompts you to verify the authenticity of your list and ensure you have consent from each contact. Role-based emails ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.) cannot be added as they are often sent to more than one person.

Signup Forms

Making it easy for visitors to sign-up to your list is essential to growing your business. Constant Contact provides several tools to capture emails including sign-up forms, landing pages, and even social media opt-ins. While there aren’t as many options as a dedicated lead generation software such as MailMunch, Constant Contact provides enough functionality to create basic sign-up forms that can help you capture more emails.

Individual signup forms on different pages of your website can be arranged to filter contact details into separate subscriber lists automatically. Forms can be displayed on a time-based trigger (e.g. set to appear after 5-seconds), or based on advanced visitor exit intent (a pop-up message that appears when a visitor is about to leave).

Constant Contact Review Signup Form Types

Here's an example of what the finished product can look like:

Constant Contact Review Signup Form Example

Reporting

Constant Contact provides in-depth reports that help you quickly analyze trends and improve email campaigns. The reporting dashboard displays a graph which shows the performance of multiple campaigns, and details the send, bounce, open, and click-through rates. An option to select different variables to display allows for quick comparison and analysis.

Constant Contact Review Report Example

Clicking on each campaign will show a list of all recipients and a snapshot of your deliverability rate against the average of your total campaigns. Many different factors impact email deliverability, and a reputable provider will ensure your email doesn’t end up in the spam folder. Constant Contact applies best email marketing practices to comply with CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation achieving a 97% email deliverability rate. In comparison, MailChimp’s deliverability is between 96-99%.

Constant Contact Review Delivery Rate Dashboard

Automation

Automation can help you reach visitors at the right time while helping you save time on repetitive tasks. Constant Contact provides some automation tools, although the software has limited capabilities when compared to other providers, like MailChimp.

Constant Contact lets you set up email autoresponders, birthday/anniversary emails, and welcome emails. There is currently no option for behavior-based emails (for example, sending an email when a subscriber views a particular page or clicks on a specific link), making MailChimp a better option for those seeking automation.

Several users also reported frustration in limited A/B split testing functionality. Constant Contact has taken feedback onboard and implemented subject line A/B split testing to help users improve open rates. This works by enabling you to test two different subject lines for your email. One batch of emails with the first subject line will be sent to a selected percentage of your contacts, while the other group will receive emails with the 2nd subject line. Depending on the results, the subject line with the highest open rate is automatically sent to the remainder of contacts on your list. At this stage, unfortunately, there is no option to easily A/B test email copy or images.

Constant Contact Review A/B Testing

Constant Contact vs. MailChimp

Both companies excel in different areas, and your choice will depend on your exact business needs. Constant Contact has a much wider range of pre-built email templates and offers more customization options. Deliverability rates are marginally better, and customer support is second-to-none. Constant Contact customers have access to support through the phone, live chat, and email. In contrast, MailChimp doesn't offer phone support, and only offers live chat support for paid customers. Constant Contact also has a range of niche features that may suit specific businesses, such as event management. List segmentation is made easy through the tag functionality, and the learning curve is less daunting compared to MailChimp.

However, if you are just starting your mailing list and have few subscribers, MailChimp is the cheaper option due to the free version for up to 2000 subscribers. MailChimp's advanced automation features and extensive integration capabilities are more robust than Constant Contact's, so users seeking automation capabilities should select MailChimp.

Both Constant Contact and MailChimp are excellent options that are widely used, so it’s important to consider your specific needs when deciding between the two.

Is Constant Contact Right for You?

Constant Contact is a leading email marketing provider for small businesses. With award-winning customer support, Constant Contact helps users with no technical expertise set up and manage professional email marketing campaigns.

The software is easy to navigate and includes an extensive template library and intuitive drag-and-drop email builder, making it quick to set up a campaign. However, there are limitations that advanced users may be looking for, such as behavior targeting email automation and additional integration capabilities. Businesses can get started on a 60-day free trial (no credit card required) by signing up through our referral link

If you’re looking for easy-to-use email marketing software and extensive customer support, Constant Contact is one of the best options on the market.

To learn more about Constant Contact, you can visit their website here.

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