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Constant Contact – Critical or Crippling?

Email marketing does not begin with the creation of an email; it begins with a person’s interest in your association. When a person’s interest is peaked, they will navigate through your organization’s website and social media, and if they like it, they will subscribe to keep up to date on your organization news. Once subscribed, your mission has just begun.

Once you have begun collecting subscribers, you must ensure that you choose the right email marketing platform. Most of the associations I have experience with have utilized Mailchimp or Constant Contact. I have used Constant Contact as my primary email marketing platform. Constant Contact is one of the oldest and most popular email marketing options, and it has a plethora of pros, and some unfortunate cons.

Let’s start with some positives. Constant Contact stands out in the market due to its amazing beginner-friendly drag-and-drop features, its huge inventory of pre-built templates, and its insightful analytics. Constant Contact has a modern user interface that makes designing an email pretty self-explanatory. You can choose from one of their standard templates and make it your own, you can start from scratch, or you can create one by using an HTML code. Once you have begun, you can view all your options on the left sidebar. You can add images, text, featured articles, dividers, and spacers. You can move them all around the containers, and it’s easy to design. That is the best part – super quick and easy to create.

It’s also easy to upload new contacts and create new lists. You can add new contacts one at a time, can upload multiple contacts from a spreadsheet, or you can copy and paste just a few at once. For organizations with longer, ever changing lists, it’s good to create a new list continuously. Depending on the Constant Contact package that you purchase, you could have up to 50,000 contacts, though that’s an expensive monthly fee. Constant Contact even keeps a list of people who unsubscribe that you can download and work to reengage. For an organization on the most basic plan with 5,000 contacts or less, you would be looking at about $80/month. Not bad for being able to send a few emails a month and being able to use their social media scheduler. While I do not use their social media scheduler, I know it has some useful resources. You can easily connect your social media pages, schedule posts in advance, and even access some helpful articles and webinars about the best marketing practices. It seems like, due to Constant Contact being the traditional choice for marketing support since it was founded in 1995, it plans to continuously work to engage new audiences.

However, it is not always the best for organizations with bigger contact lists, more frequent emails, and those who desire a bit more creativity in the design of their emails. Constant Contact does not have a free package, though they have a free trial. If you want to utilize their services, you will be charged unlike other email platforms. The bigger your contact list and the more frequent emails and segmentations, the faster the price can skyrocket. If you have a large contact list to begin with and plan to continue growing it substantially, Constant Contact might not be a good option for your organization. Besides the price, some of their email customizations are limited in design. While you can drag-and-drop and change all colors, they do have limited pre-set article designs. It can get a little boring looking at the same boxes all the time. While their templates are helpful for creating birthday emails or more generic content, it can be better to create your own newsletters from scratch to create the design you envision. Their templates can feel dated and traditional and do not seem to be updated often.

In general, Constant Contact is a great platform for organizations that are just beginning to develop their email marketing strategy. If you have a smaller list and are just getting started, Constant Contact could be a critical resource that allows you to begin some email communications, do some simple automation from welcome emails to abandoned cart reminders. It can also be beneficial for helping schedule social media posts to help stay on top of social media engagement. For each email sent, it also provides beneficial analytics such as open rate, click rate, and total deliveries. For standard size or smaller organizations, it can provide exactly what you need. It does its job easy and well, and it can be the perfect resource to get your email marketing off the ground.

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Abby Moore

As Communications Coordinator, Abby Moore specializes in digital creation. Her areas of expertise include designing social posts, creative banners and logos. She graduated from Franklin College with a Bachelor of Art's in English with a minor in Professional Writing.