I’ve been working with email marketing for a decade. I’ve used nearly every professional tool out there – Constant Contact, MailChimp, Aweber, to name a few. Several years ago I settled on Constant Contact for my own marketing, and several clients followed suit. I’m aware that many professionals rely on other systems, but the bulk of my client base are online stores and single-service businesses, and it works for them.
Each time Constant Contact rolled out a new tool, I ran it through various tests. Some of these were “dummies” and some were live trials via client campaigns. For the most part I’ve been happy with the results.
I recently ran more tests on CC’s social campaigns, which allows you to run promotions on Facebook and via email. It’s designed to get you more email signups and more Facebook “fans”. By offering up a coupon on both sides of the spectrum, the company gained nearly 1,000 Facebook Page likes overnight, and several hundred email signups. That’s a pretty big return for a small business.
Other clients experienced similar results in ratio:
CC’s Offers tool is designed to let you sell deals on products. It’s a bit like Groupon, but the campaign is run internally and it’s way cheaper. Actually, it allows you to create your campaign and send out deal announcements for free. CC only gets a portion per deal sold – $1 for coupons valued up to $19; $2 up to $49; $3 for $50 and up.
Known primarily for email marketing, CC now offers up a Toolkit. It integrates email newsletters and announcements, online feedback, events, promotions and social media campaigns. The pricing, which is based on the number of subscribers you have, is competitive. The Toolkit allows businesses to reach current and potential customers via email, social media, mobile, websites and in-person. This is key, because each customer has a preference for how he or she wants to connect with a business.
Toolkit also offers a Plus Campaigns feature, which includes a landing page with a specific call-to-action. That means you can include calls-to-action that send customers to a customized landing page where they can perform a specific task, like download a coupon, register for an event, or give your Facebook page a “like”. Full end-to-end reporting tells you what’s working.
Another great feature is the Contact List. Previously, contacts entered in a Constant Contact account were simply email subscribers. Now you can store actual contacts that may or may not receive email newsletters.
It would be wrong of me not to mention that all these features, while robust and game-changing, will do nothing for you if your content is lacking. It won’t do much if your graphics and textual content leave much to be desired. That is the case with any system, though, and it’s why successful businesses have dedicated writers and designers or contract with freelancers.
Disclaimer: I am a Constant Contact Solution Provider. That means I offer services for campaign management and content creation. I also make a commission for those who sign up with Constant Contact and continue past the trial period. However, I only recommend services I have used personally and extensively, and believe are great tools for businesses.