Constant Contact is our pick for the best email marketing service for small businesses. It has everything a small business needs to create effective campaigns, including affordable plans and easy-to-use tools.
Finding the perfect email marketing solution for a small business can be a challenge. Small business owners must balance affordability with usability and features, making the process of choosing an email marketing solution sometimes arduous. However, when 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers, email marketing software is an imperative when it comes to maintaining a competitive advantage. So finding a balanced, effective system is a top priority for many small business owners.
Constant Contact offers small businesses the flexibility of sending a large number of emails by charging for services based on the number of contacts in a list. Constant Contact also integrates with popular business applications, provides transparent reporting and features an easy-to-use email builder. With all of these features – plus helpful customer service, an affordable price point and strong scalability – small business owners looking to adopt a new email marketing solution should consider Constant Contact.
9.5 / 10
Constant Contact combines affordable pricing with helpful email automation software to create an effective email marketing tool for small businesses that are eager to scale. The easy-to-use interface and quick signup enable marketers to create and launch an email campaign in under 10 minutes. Constant Contact is also affordable for the value it offers, making it advantageous even for small businesses on a tight budget.
Constant Contact is one of the easiest-to-use email marketing services we reviewed, and the email editor is outstanding. Even if you have never designed an email, the editor automatically scrubs your website to find your logo, colors and social media profiles. Once it has this information, you can easily customize templates to create an appealing email. There are dozens of templates to pick from, and we liked that we could save our favorite templates to quickly reuse them when creating a new email.
Constant Contact integrates with several other services, such as Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, Outlook and email list building tools, allowing you to sync contacts and other data easily. Constant Contact allows users to integrate with Vimeo. This strategic partnership allows email marketers to create, host and manage video within the Constant Contact platform. Users can create videos, embed GIFs, capture and sync leads, and measure video performance on any given campaign.
Additionally, Constant Contact’s automated service lets you send automatic emails triggered by customer actions, so you’ll have a response in place when consumers are interested in your products or services.
You can integrate Constant Contact with Salesforce, Outlook, Vimeo, Excel and other platforms to optimize your email marketing campaigns.
Constant Contact has an array of tools that make it easy to create eye-catching, appealing email marketing campaigns. Here are some features we like:
|A/B split testing
|See which email performs the best to improve open rates.
|Automatically send emails on specific days, such as a customer’s birthday, or to new subscribers.
|Ensure your emails always end up in the right inboxes.
|Customize emails with comprehensive drag-and-drop tools.
|Choose from dozens of templates to design the right email for your campaign.
|Create lists to categorize and send to specific contacts based on the email.
|Keep track of analytics with Constant Contact’s reporting feature.
With Constant Contact’s A/B testing feature, you create two subject lines that are sent to different portions of your contact list. The software determines the better-performing subject line and automatically sends that one to the rest of your audience. This feature is common among the email marketing services we reviewed.
With Constant Contact’s autoresponders, we created a series of personalized, automated emails. These emails are sent automatically based on certain triggers. You can automate emails such as welcome messages to new subscribers and birthday or anniversary emails to your existing customers.
Constant Contact boasts a 97% deliverability rate. The company also offers resources on common email mistakes, phrases that may trigger spam filters and best practices to ensure your messages are received. Staying out of spam folders not only ensures you reach users more effectively, but it also helps bolster your deliverability rate to other users, preventing your address from being flagged as a source of spam.
We found the email editor to be the most intuitive in our review. When you click “Create Email,” you can choose to add your website to the message. If you do, Constant Contact scrubs your website to find your brand’s colors, logo and social media accounts, and then adds them to the email automatically. Next, you pick a template and edit it using simple drag-and-drop tools.
A video tutorial introduces the email editor tool the first time you access it, so even new users will get a quick instructional overview of the system before getting started. The emails we designed were easy to build and reached the test inboxes, not the spam folders.
Constant Contact has dozens of templates in its library. Each template is reusable and built for both desktop and mobile. Once you pick a template, you can customize it with your own images as well as your brand’s colors, logos and fonts. Maintaining a uniform brand in appearance and tone across multiple channels can improve your ability to attract your target audience wherever they interact with your content.
With Constant Contact, you can upload your existing contacts from Microsoft Excel, Outlook or Salesforce. When you upload new email contacts, you can use tags to categorize them, such as “VIP donor” or “prospect.” Other email marketing services offer this feature as well, but Constant Contact makes it especially easy to use this tool by automatically removing duplicates and unsubscribed contacts for you so that you don’t have to manage your lists manually.
Once you send emails, you can immediately view reports from the campaign. Statistics include open rates, click rates, the number of emails sent, bounces, successful deliveries, unsubscribes, spam reports and did-not-opens. You can also view which links are clicked, social media statistics and poll responses. In this dashboard, you also have the option to resend an email.
Constant Contact has two email marketing plans, Core and Plus, that can fit into the budgets of most small businesses. Both plans include the tools needed to create professional email campaigns, including the email editor, hundreds of email templates, built-in recommendations, and A/B testing for subject lines.
While the Core and Plus plans feature many of the same features, the Plus plan includes automated email marketing benefits, advertising tools and additional storage the Core plan does not. According to Constant Contact’s website, both packages have a monthly send limit of 24 times the total contacts and an overage fee of 0.2 cents per email.
Constant Contact offers prepay and nonprofit discounts for its services. Businesses that prepay for 12 months receive a 15% discount, while nonprofits that prepay can save up to 30%. For franchises and associations with unique needs, Constant Contact offers custom pricing.
For businesses that plan to have more than 50,000 subscribers, reach out to Constant Contact for a custom quote. Constant Contact automatically adjusts user fees if contact lists change from one billing cycle to the next.
Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial that comes with all of Constant Contact’s tools, including templates, images, an email editor, contact management, reporting and live support. There is no need to make a commitment or input credit card information to get started with Constant Contact’s free trial.
Each Constant Contact plan comes with a 30-day guarantee and award-winning customer support.
To begin, sign up for the 60-day free trial, which is available with every plan. There’s no need to provide any credit card information; just enter your name, company name, email address and phone number. Once you have your account, you can create your first email campaign by clicking “Create an email.”
From there, choose an email template and create content using fonts, media and colors. Once you’ve finished your email, you’re ready to create a mailing list and send the email. When we used Constant Contact’s email editor, we created and sent an email in less than 10 minutes.
Constant Contact has a variety of resources to help you. Along with its extensive knowledge base and videos, it offers chat and phone support, as well as free webinars and blogs. Constant Contact’s phone lines are open Monday through Saturday at various times depending on the department. The chat features are available Monday through Friday. The representative we contacted was helpful, didn’t try to push us to make a purchase and answered all of our questions.
One potential drawback of Constant Contact is that, although it has a 60-day free trial, it does not offer a free plan. Many other email marketing services provide a free version of their software, often with limited capabilities. To learn about a free option, read our review of Mailchimp.
Another downside is that Constant Contact’s A/B testing feature lets you test subject lines only, which can limit insight into your email campaigns’ effectiveness. The best email marketing services let you compare multiple variables, such as different designs, with your A/B tests.
To identify the best email marketing services, we compiled a list of popular platforms based on online research and carefully examined each service’s online reputation. We spent several weeks researching each email marketing service by investigating its offerings, watching tutorials and how-to videos, testing the software (when possible), and reading user reviews. We also evaluated each service’s pricing structure and customer service by posing as a business owner. When selecting our best pick for small businesses, we looked for software that is user-friendly, provides features for small business owners who are new to email marketing and has affordable pricing.
Constant Contact is email marketing software that primarily helps businesses create branded emails, websites, online stores and more in one online marketing platform.
No, Constant Contact does not offer a free version. However, there is a 60-day free trial.
Constant Contact’s email plans start at $9.99 per month. The monthly costs depend on the size of your contact list. Tiered pricing and discounts are also available.
Yes, but only for email subject lines. Constant Contact does not offer A/B testing for the body content in an email marketing campaign, unlike many other leading email marketing software providers.
We recommend Constant Contact for …
We do not recommend Constant Contact for …