What is Constant Contact?
Constant Contact is an integrated sales and marketing tool that allows individuals and small business owners to easily manage and communicate with tens of thousands of people with little effort at all. It uses many different online marketing tools and features to connect business proprietors with potential new customers in an attempt to build lasting and profitable customer relationships.
History of Constant Contact
Constant Contact began offering its services from its Waltham, Massachusetts office in 1998, with its primary focus being e-mail marketing tools. After a couple years of operation, the firm added online survey tools to its offerings. Since then, event marketing and social media tools have been added to Constant Contacts portfolio of services for customers. As of 2013, the company has almost half a million customers, both small business and larger companies, taking advantage of its various services, and has several offices throughout the U.S. as well as an office in London, England.
Does Constant Contact Offer Coupons?
In 2013 we have found several special promotion codes for Constant Contact but currently there are none available. We will be installing a new coupon code widget soon and updates will come in automatically.
Primary Features and Benefits
Constant Contacts stated goal is to help small businesses and organizations find new customers, bring in repeat business, and generate new referrals from existing contacts. The tools it offers are supposed to help drive new traffic to a business and raise its brand awareness, thus allowing users of Constant Contact to expand their customer base. Utilizing these tools is a rather easy matter, thankfully, so customers have less to worry about in putting their materials together for targeted customers.
The e-mail marketing tools are well-guided and very easy to use. Users can select from several hundred different templates to use in their mailing, or they can look into creating a unique template for mailings. It is very simple to drag and drop items and text into the template without having to use any complex macros or coding. Even if a user runs into design problems, online support is constantly available with just one click from any screen within the program. The support area can help with those issues. For those users who have an idea of what they want but are not so sure how to make it happen, support also provides help in designing customized e-mail templates.
The e-mail marketing service also provides users with a clear step-by-step process for importing contacts, whether from an Excel spreadsheet, an e-mail address book, or other type of database. Users can also target specific groups of e-mails based on location, subject preference, or signup date in order to send targeted e-mail blasts and newsletters to specific groups. Finally, the e-mails can be programmed to be sent in the future on a set schedule.
As a nice little extra, users can also set up automatic responses in order to send immediate thank-you notes or other acknowledgements to current and potential new customers. Its a nice feature that can mean a lot to new customers just getting interested in the companys services. All these tools are offered as part of Constant Contacts standard e-mail marketing package.
The online survey tool is fairly simple to set up and use as well. It uses a lot of the same template development and address importing techniques that are used in the e-mail marketing tool. It also has wizards that allow users to easily set up their questions (and conditional questions, based on previous answers) and targeted audience.
Beyond just setting up a survey to gather answers, the survey tool also provides some simple analysis of responses. Users can see how many were successfully delivered and how many answerers opted out of receiving future e-mails. Users can also analyze the answers received from completed surveys and dive down into cross-sections of data to find possible correlations between certain user groups and certain answer trends. While the analysis is fairly simple, it does provide users with some insight into motives behind the responses, which can then prove useful for shaping future advertising or marketing campaigns.
Taking the next step from online surveys and questionnaires, the Constant Contact site also allows its customers to set up events and advertise to specific audiences. Called EventSpot, this tool provides event creation, promotion, invitation, management, payment processing, and RSVP management. Event types are not limited to physical, bricks-and-mortar gatherings; EventSpot can also be used to create online, virtual meetings and get-togethers. The event, once created, can be shared on many different social media platforms to attract additional people beyond those targeted by e-mail distributions.
Social Media Tools
Over the past few years, Constant Contact has also attempted to help its customer establish a better presence within social media. Customers are able to develop their first social media campaign for free through Constant Contact, which is helpful for trying to get an idea of what works and what doesnt. Users can customize pages within news feeds on Twitter or LinkedIn or within Facebook timelines to gain maximum exposure to potential customers based on noted profile interests, geographic location, common hash tags, and the like. The landing pages can showcase great offers to customers to draw them in as actual customers rather than possible targets.
One drawback, however, is that there does not seem to be as much support available in developing social media campaigns. While it is nice that the first campaign is free, it might be more helpful to have a similar level of support for social media that there is for e-mail, online surveys, and event planning.
Constant Contacts services are fairly well-priced. Most of its solutions are quite economical for small businesses and independent professionals. All of the services described here either have a set free trial (30 or 60 days, depending on the service) or allow a trial run of the service to see how well it works.
Overall, Constant Contacts offerings are fairly well-priced and well-supported for the value delivered. While there are some aspects (as cited above with support and analytics) that could use some improvement, it is hard to complain about the value that can be gained just by trying out each of the services offered by the company. Overall, it provides a worthwhile suite of services that can help small businesses and professionals find a wider audience and grow their customer base (and profits) significantly.