We’re up to Part 3 of our series on Email Marketing solutions and this week we turn to the Constant Contact set of business marketing tools.

A Bit Of History

Constant Contact was founded in the United States in 1995 and is a long serving solutions provider of email marketing but also marketing in other digital forms. You can consider Constant Contact to be a general marketing company and not simply an email services provider.

Pricing Packages

For $20/month you have the entry level pricing structure which is the entry point for a full service subscription. There’s also an option for a Plus! Service which starts from $45/month.

It’s worth noting that the real cost will depend on the volumes of email and quantities required, and you need to make use of the handy calculate tool to work out what you’ll really be paying based on your business requirements.

Thankfully, they also offer a very generous 60-day trail! Most email marketing services limit you somewhat in the trial period with limits to quantities, no support or minimal support services. However, the Constant Contact system offers full service for 60 days! Definitely, enough time to decide if Constant Contact is right for your business.

The Cool And The Not So Cool Features

One of the best features for a small business is the fantastic level support offered to customers. There’s no difference in support between the basic and the Plus offering which is very important.

Did I mention that the free trial actually gives access to Plus level features? Some of which include extra Automation Features, Facebook Promotions, Email Registration and Management, and Customer Surveys.

There’s only one drawback to the Constant Contact platform; some of the features aren’t as user friendly (as you’d find in options like MailChimp, which are designed to be as easy to use as possible) at the expense of some customisation and feature complexity.

One thing that sets Constant Contact apart from competitors, is the variety of tools within the software package. Because of this, you’ll find tools for email marketing that integrate well with your Facebook and events. Not all of this will be important to your business, however, should you be looking purely for an email marketing tool for newsletters. You would be better off with the MailChimp offering, it probably has enough capabilities without the extra baggage.

Integration Abilities

Integration is critical to the success of any online business tool, especially email marketing platforms, and you’ll find that Constant Contact is no exception. The Constant Contact marketplace has a list of some paid, and free integration plugins for popular services from Outlook and SalesForce to Intuit, and of course much more.

If you’re considering giving Constant Contact a trial, check carefully the integration marketplace first before you go ahead and implement, just in case you’re left with a weak link in your technology chain!

Summing Up

Overall if you’re prepared to spend a little more time getting used to the various tools that make up Constant Contact, you do have a very extensive set of options, from the emailing to the event management tools they all interconnect and provide a solid solution if a little harder to use than MailChimp or aWeber.

You can’t go past a 60-day trial which is mostly needed to give the business time to get used to the tools and get things working the way you want. Remember, that if you’re a business that wants to manage events with one tool and where invitations and bookings happen automatically through emails, Constant Contact could be right for you!