You might have seen Constant Contact’s ads on the television recently. If you happen to be living under a rock and have just stumbled onto a still-functioning computer with internet access just sitting around somewhere here it is:
Constant Contact Email has been in the email game since 1995 so they have been around for quite some time. That must mean they know about making a well-designed autoresponder service, right? Let’s see my findings as I investigate in:
My Official Constant Contact Review
Name: Constant Contact Autoresponder
Price: $20/month with 0-500 subscribers under the most basic plan
Owners: Gail Goodman, CEO since 1999
Overall Rank: 45 out of 100
Constant Contact is one of the main players in the e-mail marketing autoresponder realm. It has been around since 1995. This autoresponder service touts themselves as being for the small business and really pride themselves in that-Not just trying to run with the big dogs leaving the little guy behind.
They like to boast of a customer base of 650,000 strong, but according to Google Trends general interest for them is down. Another good reason to investigate to see if they hold up against big autoresponders such as:
Why would interest in this email company be down? Well, here’s one reason.
Scandalous- Something To Keep In Mind Before Joining
Self-Promotion– Back in 2007 a blogger named Darren Barefoot accused this company of using current and former employees to falsely give Constant Contact positive reviews to counter negative reviews of their company, services, and business practices. They posted these positive reviews without revealing their affiliation with the company.
Who knows how many small part-time businesses would have been deceived had they not been caught.
Ok, wait Randall. How do we know this is true and not just a bunch of bull?
They admitted to it. They acknowledged that the positive reviews were from Constant Contact employees, but claimed that those blog comments were made against company rules. Of course, they distanced themselves from these employees. “They operated outside company policy and were disciplined” so they say.
The Good & the Bad
- Unique Features like the ListenUp!SM Survey Tool, Event planner, Text To Join
- No E-mail Automation, just an autoresponder
- Embedded forms are limited to 200 sign-ups per day. Why?
- Scandals like the desperate self-promotion mentioned above. Everyone makes mistakes though so maybe they have changed. Let’s hope.
Who is Constant Contact For?
The Constant Contact emailing autoresponder service is lost in the 90’s. Everything is outdated and very basic. Even free services like Mad Mimi have more to offer for free than what Constant Contact actually charges for.
I really don’t think Constant Contact is for anybody. What autoresponder service doesn’t provide email automation?
Email automation is where you write a bunch of emails and then send them to your optins in sequences chosen by you.I’m not the biggest expert on autoresponders I’ll admit, but that seems like something all autoresponders would have.
When someone signs up on an opt-in form they firstly land on a thank you page(another autoresponder task). Then you are supposed to be able to send them a series of 8-however many emails you want to write in a sequence.
The reason for doing this is to establish a relationship and gain trust with the person who signed up. Also, a customer often doesn’t make a purchase on the first contact with any product. In fact, it usually takes 7 or more times before they are ready to buy.
In your emails, you can keep putting offers in there(usually included at the bottom after an informational post) to keep reminding prospects that the solution is a click away.
Constant Contact Tools Of The Trade
They have many different types of sign-up forms so you can at least gain a subscriber. All email marketing campaigns begin with a sign-up form and automated emails then take over. Or at least they’re supposed too. Once again I need to reiterate, Constant Contact doesn’t do automated emails.
Online List Growth
- Inline Web Sign-Up Form-
Inline sign-up forms are the basic forms bloggers put on their website that ask for your email and sometimes your name. You are given one by default when signing up with CC.
- Pop-Up Forms-
When you visit a website sometimes after a few moments you get a pop-up form for signing up to a list. That’s what a pop-up form is and they do offer it at this autoresponder service.
- WordPress Sign-Up Form-
Included also in the tools is a WordPress sign-up form. If you are familiar with using the widget area of your WordPress site, then you can put a sign-up widget straight into your sidebar, footer, or wherever you like widget-wise.
- Facebook Sign-Up Form-
Every autoresponder just has to deal with getting a Facebook sign-up form implemented. It’s a law I think!
- App Marketplace-
You can find an area that has plugins and apps that can be integrated with Constant Contact to help get sign-ups.
Offline List Growth
- Text To Join-Visitors don’t always have to come from the internet realm for you to grow your list. Suppose you have a physical business like the guys in the recent Constant Contact commercial. What they could have done was hang a sign up in their shop telling customers to text a” special keyword” that they created to go through the sign-up process.
I’ll admit that this feature is pretty neat for a hairstylist, small motor repairman, or another small-business owner. A good way to give yourself a shout-out.
There is also a decent amount of training videos to help you get started. The help center in there is pretty well packed with training videos and webinars that answer the most common questions.
A lot of tutorials, videos, and other training are around in the CC help center. They go in depth about how to manage different tasks with this service. There is also a community to post questions too.
Constant Contact has a list of seminars and training from many places. Most of them you have to pay to view though.
There is currently a 60-day free trial going on with them. I don’t know how long that is going to last. After that, the price then goes up to $20/month with 0-500 subscribers under the most basic plan. If you go over the 500 subscriber mark the price climbs. At least with that many subscribers, you should be making money.
They have a list of different webinars and courses hosted at many different places too. Some of these courses are free, but most you have to pay for. CC probably gets commissions for this. Another way to get money out of you.
Constant Contact also does offer upgrades that grant you access to advanced features. This can allow you to put in surveys, create events, conduct a poll, and other bells and whistles.
My Final Opinion of Constant Contact Autoresponder Service
I think if you want an effective email autoresponder service that offers everything that your business needs for list building and email automation service, then I would look elsewhere. Constant Contact doesn’t realize the importance of having email automation. This should be common sense, but I digress.
If you are just dipping your toes into email marketing, may I suggest Mad Mimi? They are one of the cheapest autoresponders out there. Setup is free. They have over 10 years experience. The service is pretty basic, but it gives you a chance to get your feet under you without shelling out the money for other autoresponders like Constant Contact, Aweber, and Getresponse.
If you want to learn how to do email marketing and how to make money without a product of your own click here.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
We’ll teach you to fish. You have to know how to set up email marketing campaigns and this place teaches that and a whole lot more.
Constant Contact at a Glance…
Name: Constant Contact
Owners: Gail Goodman
Price: 60-day free trial, then the basic plan is $20/month with 0-500 subscribers
Overall Scam Rank:45 out of 100
VERDICT: Not Legit