Constant Contact Review – Email Marketing Software
Our Constant Contact review explains what Constant Contact does, its good side and its bad side. Constant Contact is often compared to companies such as MailChimp because they both allow you to create and send professional marketing emails. With Constant Contact, you are able to send personalized and branded emails using different templates. Most of the creative work is done by the template designers and the Constant Contact system, but you are in charge of adding information and sexifying the design so that it fits your message, brand, and intended impact.
What Does Constant Contact Do?
Constant Contact is a subscription service that allows you to create email designs, customize your emails, send them, and track them. There are a range of features that help you create your emails, help you send them efficiently, help you send them automatically, and help you figure out how much of an impact your emails are having. There are also a few social media functions where you are able to post things on social media and see how well they are being shared around. In this create review, I will go into detail about their many features.
A Promise Of A Return On Your Investment
Echeck.org fans are going to know to take claims of an ROI with a pinch of salt. Constant Contact say they have customers who enjoy an average return of $38 back for every $1 spent with Constant Contact. I don’t need to tell you that this is a meaningless claim.
I would be more inclined to believe their claim if they allowed me to use the service for free and agree to pay them $1 for every $38 it makes me.
Customizable Email Templates
Their template system is fairly intuitive. It is similar to the sort of content management system you see when you are creating a website. Drag and drop things, reshape things, customize your email to your liking and add your own details.
Schedule Your Email Messages
It would be a pretty crappy email system if it didn’t let you automate your messages with a simple schedule. A common use for this tool is to schedule birthday emails and holiday emails. The automated system triggers on certain dates and for certain email addresses.
Automatic responses are a key to modern emailing technology. The most commonly sent auto-email is one that confirms a sent message. Another is the activation email that people receive when they sign up for a new account or sign up for a newsletter. The email is automatically sent to the user, who is encouraged to click a link in order to activate his or her account.
Easily Upload Your Contacts List
The Constant Contact system allows you to easily upload your email list from things such as Gmail, Outlook, and Excel. Things such as inactive emails, bounces and unsubscribers are handled automatically by the Constant Contact system. The fact they handle your unsubscribers is quite handy because failing to take people off a newsletter list is a good way of getting your email service banned/blacklisted by email service providers.
Track Your Email Success In Real Time
Post your content via Constant Contact to social media networks, and the Constant Contact will track your success in real time. I have never understood the reason for these types of tools and functions because I don’t think there is much that real-time results has to offer. Nevertheless, it is a function of the Constant Contact system.
Whom Actually Delivers The Emails?
Where the emails are situated and how they are sent was a big issue for me when I was first assigned to write about Constant Contact. For example, I have a personal email service that I get for free, like most people do, and I will be banned if I start sending bulk emails and marketing emails from it. The last thing I want is to have Constant Contact route my emails through my personal email service and have me banned.
It is Constant Contact that actually sends your email. You communicate with their service via a web browser that loads their interface. You create your emails, import your contacts list and so forth, and then you issue a send order. Constant Contact is the one who takes your email and actually passes it on to your contacts. I am not sure if they use a third-party service for that part, but there is no evidence that they are farming the “sending” part out to another company.
When you have finished creating your emails and you issue the send order, Constant Contact take your emails through what they call their “Delivery Measures.”
What Are Constant Contact’s Delivery Measures?
Constant Contact measure the amount of emails that you send opposed to how many actually reach the recipient’s email inboxes. On some occasions, the emails are not delivered because the recipient’s email account has been closed. On other occasions, the emails do not arrive because of the sending service.
Constant Contact claim that they have a 97% delivery rate, which means for example, if you send 10,000 emails in a year, then 9700 will arrive at your recipient’s email inbox and 300 will fail to make it. Obviously, I don’t think that Constant Contact are going to brag about their delivery rate honestly. Maybe they are being honest, but since they are the ones doing the measuring, I cannot take them at their word that 97% of their emails arrive as they should. Plus, Constant Contact is happy to mention delivery success rates, but I wonder what their metrics would look like with regards to delivery times. Are the emails they are sending taking moments to arrive? Or weeks to arrive?
Constant Contact Delivery Measure – Red Flagging Emails
Most people have a free email account that they got from a free email service provider. The most popular ones have their own list of red flags. These lists help their email bots detect spam.
For example, you may use Outlook, and Outlook has its own list of red flags. One of them is the word “MONEY” in uppercase letters in a subject title. When Outlook receives an email, they check it for the word “MONEY” in uppercase letters in the subject line. If an email has that, then the email is automatically sent to the email account holder’s junk file.
Think of it this way. Different email providers see millions of spam emails every year. They check spam messages for similarities. When they find a common similarity between spam emails, they add that similarity to a list. When a new email is received, they check down the list to see if the new email has any similarities to spam emails; if the new email does, then the email is redirected to the user’s junk file. The list they use is better known as a red flag list, and the similarities I mentioned are better known as red flags.
Constant Contact claims to have a long and updated list of red flags from popular email service providers. Constant Contact checks your email for red flags and lets you know about it. The system asks if you would like to change your email in order to remove the red flags. If you remove these red flags/triggers, then there is a higher chance than your email will reach your recipient’s email inbox rather than your recipient’s email junk folder.
For the record, I am trying not to be overly critical or negative, but I realize that I keep mentioning things such as “Constant Contact claims” and insinuating that the company is dishonest. I have no idea if the company plays it straight down the line or if they are bigger liars than a bishop in a brothel raid. I am simply trying to highlight the fact that when I repeat what Constant Contact have said, I am repeating their propaganda, which is why I say they “claim” rather than stating things as outright facts.
Constant Contact Delivery Measure – White Listed With ISPs
Constant Contact “claims” to be white listed by most ISPs. What they are claiming is actually an oversimplification of something a little more complex, so what I am going to do explain what it means in simple terms, explain it in more detail, and then explain/justify why I think they are probably being honest about being white listed.
When Constant Contact say they are white listed by most ISPs, they are referring to the fact that Internet Service Providers sometimes ban certain services from sending emails if they think that service is breaking the law (such as by bulk/mass spamming/phishing).
When Constant Contact say they are white listed by most ISPs, they also mean Internet data centers and they mean email account providers too. All of these entities have the ability to block a sender from sending emails and messages via their networks. For example, lets say you own a server at home, and you use it to spam phishing (scammer) emails to people with Gmail email addresses. Gmail may ban your service from sending signals to its email users, and may ban your server too so that even if other companies try to use your server to send messages, they will not get through to Gmail users. Internet service providers can do this, and there are data centers that handle Internet networks that are able to ban email sending services, servers and even whole data centers full of servers if they wish.
When Constant Contact says they are white listed, it means that they are not banned by most Internet Service Providers, Data Centers and email providers. What they are also saying is that these companies/services consider Constant Contact to be a safe company that sends safe emails. If a company is white listed in this way, then it is easily able to send emails to a wide range of people using a wide range of Internet Service Providers and specifically to a wide range of people using a range of email service providers.
Three Reasons Why Constant Contact Probably Isn’t Blacklisted
There are three reasons why I believe that Constant Contact are not blacklisted by most ISPs. They may not be white listed by most, but I certainly believe they are not blacklisted, and here is why:
1 – They would have a hard time running their business if they were blacklisted by many ISPs. Constant Contact’s users would complain that their emails were not getting through, Constant Contact’s online reputation would suffer, and people would eventually stop using their service.
2 – Constant Contact does have fairly strict policies when it comes to being lawful. The only legal way to build an email list is to use an opt-in system, and many legitimate companies use a double opt-in system where the user receives an email with a link that must be clicked to activate his or her subscription or account. If your list quality is shaky, then Constant Contact start to assume that your list was purchased or scraped, and they start to make things difficult for you.
3 – Constant Contact don’t appear to be in it for a few cheap bucks. They spend a lot on advertising and they are obviously trying to improve their service (albeit too slowly). They could easily make a few quick bucks by selling their service to spammers, but since Constant Contact is still in business, I have to assume that they have mostly steered clear of spamming companies whose operations would have Constant Contact blacklisted.
Constant Contact – Pros
- Import your email contact list from places such as Gmail and Outlook.
- There are pieces of information, technical help and instructions produced by Constant Contact that will help you create suitable emails and will help you use the system more effectively.
- The plans are not brilliantly priced, but they are affordable. They are not so high that it is impossible to pull a profit from them through email conversions.
- Their editor is easy to use, it allows you to create sign up forms, and it allows you to connect your campaign with Google Analytics.
Constant Contact – Cons
- Their promotion and advertising is wank (to coin the English phrase). Why does their website make people search around for selling details? Why doesn’t the website just tell us what we need to know without us having to go all CSI about it?
- The free trial mostly sucks. I know that it gives people a small taste of what is to come, but the taste is so small that it is barely worth giving the system a go. Why bother if you are unable to see the tool flex its muscles.
- Despite the fact that it has an auto-responder, it is not a sophisticated responder, and it is certainly not impressive. You may find that the auto-responder is a little limited.
- It is glitchy at times. There are times when things do not load, or where you give a command and you do not get a response from the system.
Fees And/Or Charges
One of the going things about Constant Contact is that there are no hidden charges. There are charges that are not explicit, but there are no hidden charges or tricks. You are charged a monthly fee based on how many email you have sent. If your contact list changes and/or your email amount charges by the next billing cycle, then your fee is adjusted automatically.
They have a downloadable PDF file with their prices on. It is a little easier to understand than what they show on their website, but it is still littered with marketing information that makes things all the more confusing. Here is the pricing page, and near the bottom, you will see a small FAQ section. Within the FAQ section, there is a section that says, “I love your plans, but I’m not the decision maker. What can I do?” That is the section where you will find the link to their pricing plan on a PDF file.