Constant Contact: Email Marketing For Beginners
Getting started with email marketing can seem daunting, especially if you’re in the early stages of your blogging career. Luckily, providers like Constant Contact exist to help make email marketing easy.
It’s not the most feature-packed solution out there, but it does demystify email marketing. And it has a convenient WordPress plug-in.
Below we look at the pros and cons of Constant Contact, so you can decide if it’s a worthwhile investment for your blog.
About Constant Contact
Constant Contact was founded back in 1995 in an attic in Brookline, Massachusetts. Since those early days, it’s grown to provide a diverse array of marketing tools and support a customer based of more than 250,000.
Its core focus is helping small businesses master and succeed with digital marketing, but their email marketing solution is a great fit for beginner bloggers as well.
Is it Easy to Use?
Constant Contact shines in how easy the software is to use. It’s designed with nontechnical users in mind. Even if you haven’t used any email marketing software in the past, you’ll be able to easily and quickly set up your email list.
Once you log in to the dashboard you’ll only have five different tabs to deal with. This is refreshing, especially compared to other providers that tend to overwhelm you with features right out of the gate.
From the home dashboard, you’ll be able to:
- Create email campaigns
- Manage your subscribers
- View analytics reports
- Create sign up forms
- Create an image library
The intuitive interface is helpful if you’ve been putting off using email marketing software because you didn’t want to spend time learning the ins and outs.
Creating an Email Campaign
Creating your first email campaign is straightforward. Choose from over 150 different designs, then customize your template using the drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor. If you have any HTML skills, then you’ll be able to customize each template even further.
The editor offers you a variety of options to improve the quality of your email, including:
- Built-in spell checker
- Image cropping and editing
- Access to a free stock photo library.
Finally, nearly every single template included is mobile-friendly, meaning the layout will adjust and adapt automatically so your email looks good on both smartphones and tablets.
Once you’ve created your email, sending it is as simple as clicking a button. You’ll be able to specify if you’d like to send the email now, or at some point in the future.
With Constant Contact, the email automation options are a little lacking. You won’t be able to create complex trigger and automation sequences, but instead, you’ll only have access to two triggers. The first is when a person joins your list. The second is when a certain milestone is achieved, like having a birthday.
For beginners, this will probably be enough. But, intermediate and advanced level bloggers who want to create sophisticated automation campaigns may find themselves wanting more.
Managing Your Subscribers
Subscriber management is fairly straightforward, and you’ll have multiple methods for importing old contact lists. First, you can simply add in each contact one by one. This is valuable if you have a ton of information for every contact on your list. Second, you can paste in a block of contacts of at once, thus speeding up the process. Third, you can upload from a .csv, .xls, .xlsx, or. txt file, or import a contact list from a tool like Google, Outlook, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Outlook, and more.
Integrating With WordPress
As a WordPress user, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a plugin that will integrate Constant Contact and WordPress. This plugin allows you to add a signup form to your site in order to build your list. You can also manage your existing subscribers from within the WordPress dashboard.
Reporting and Tracking
Constant Contact provides basic reporting data like clicks, unsubscribes, opens, and more. Plus, you’ll be able to narrow down on the exact subscribers who engaged with your email.
One of their most useful reporting features is the ability to monitor your subscriber growth by source. This will help you see what sources of traffic are the most valuable, and help you determine where you should be spending most of your marketing efforts.
However, in terms of optimizing your email campaigns, there aren’t a lot of features to help you out, as the tool doesn’t currently let you run split tests unless you want to go through the lengthy manual process.
Customer Support and Education
You’ll have a variety of ways to get in touch with their support team and educate yourself on the features and fix any potential problems. These include:
- Online chat
There’s an extensive knowledgebase that answers common questions related to email campaigns, account help, list management, and more.
To further your knowledge you’ll also find a large resource library that will help you solve any technical problems, and offer advice to help grow your email list.
Finally, there’s a large forum filled with bloggers just like you, and helpful experts where you can ask technical questions, get feedback on your new ideas, or talk to like-minded community members.
Who Should Consider a Different Tool?
Bloggers who demand more automation features and are experienced in segmentation and A/B testing should probably stay away from this tool. At its current price point, you could find a much more feature-rich tool at a fraction of the price.
This is especially true if you have a large email list. As you’ll not only be paying quite the monthly fee, but you won’t be able to implement advanced campaigns to get the most profit possible from your list.
Who Should Use Constant Contact?
Constant Contact is clearly built for the beginner market. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to get started with building and growing your list, then this could be a solid tool to start with. However, the pricing is a little steep, especially for a beginner-oriented tool.
But, if you’re looking for a simple email marketing solution that has a stellar support team and a ton of educational resources that’ll help your list grow, then it’s worth checking out.
Overall, Constant Contact does a solid job of making email marketing approachable to those who’ve never done it before. It doesn’t pack the features necessary to make it worthwhile to those with larger sites, big lists, or marketing-savvy.
The price point is higher than other beginner-oriented tools on the market. But, if you’ve been wary about getting started with email marketing, have a nice budget, and want a tool that effectively walks you through the process, then it’s worth taking a test drive.