Is ConstantContact Email Software Falling Behind? Review 2019

20 Years Old, ConstantContact Has Many Fans, But It May Be Falling Behind The Competition In Innovation, Automation, Features & Definitely Price

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
Features
Email Deliverability
Ease of Use
Client Satisfaction (Twitter Sentiment & Trustpilot)
Customer Support, Speed, Availability, Accessibility

Constant Contact Email Services

ConstantContact Offers Midrange Features, Solid Automation, Forms & Landing Pages, Including Facebook Lead Aquisition. But With A Midrange Price Point Who Is It Best For?

ConstantContact’s email deliverability and simple marketing automation wrapped up in a  slick interface make it a solid service offering with many happy customers.  But with a significantly higher price point and fewer features than other competitors, are they a good choice for you?

ConstantContact Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Polling & Surveys✘ Pricing
★ Segmentation, Tagging & Broadcasts✘ Standard Features with Premium Pricing
★ Facebook & Instagram Lead Integration✘ Too Many Pay For Integrations
★ Landing Pages Included
Visit ConstantContact★ Auto Resend to No-Openers

 

The Review Process

I have compared 30 of the most popular email marketing software vendors out of a list of over 100.  We have compared over 80 key feature and benefits to be able to make a solid and fair comparison. In total over 2,400 data points have been compared over our months of testing.  Also, I run multiple businesses which means collecting customer contact information and providing them the right information at the right time is a core part of the service.  For further details on what we tested jump to How We Rated the Service.

ConstantContact Pricing

There are two types of pricing model in the email marketing industry.

  1. Per Contact Pricing means you are charged for storage of a number of contacts, this model usually includes unlimited email sends.
  2. Per Email Pricing – this model usually means that you can have an unlimited number of contacts but you pay per thousand email sends.

All email marketing vendors also offer multiple tiers of service, a basic tier providing email messaging, autoresponders and segmentation.  More advanced tiers usually provide more in-depth services such as email marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Funnels, Payment Gateways, and landing pages.

When it comes to pricing ConstantContact is in 6th place of the 11 vendors in the table below. So they are definitely nowhere near the best price points, but their service is targeted at start-ups and small business.  For me targeting new businesses should mean you offer a lower pricepoint especially at the under 10,000 subscribers rage.  ConstantContact charge 0.81c per contact every month (on a yearly contract), compare that to SendX who charge 0.39 cents per contact.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

ConstantContact offers 2 tiers of pricing, EMAIL & EMAIL PLUS.  The prices above are for the basic EMAIL package.  The BASIC package is very limited compared to that of the price leaders GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, and SendX.

Important features missing from the ConstantContact basic package.

  • Multiple Popup Forms
  • Automated Welcome Email Series
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • A/B Testing
  • Automation & Personalizable Content

Some Key Missing Innovations In The EMAIL Plus Package

  • Geo-location Timezone Delivery
  • Smart Delivery Based On User Open Patterns
  • CRM Services
  • Payment Gateways

ConstantContact Email Marketing & Automation Features

Like all of the services reviewed, ConstantContact offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, ConstantContact has a nice collection of newsletter templates and impressive licensed images.  This will ensure your emails will look professional and unique.

Constant Contact Automated Email Series Video

The functionality of email automation is only available in the EMAIL Plus service tier and is very similar in functionality to AWeber’s, using time delays, triggers and tagging.

ConstantContact Email Capture Landing Pages

ConstantContact also a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress. They are available again in the EMAIL Plus Tier.

Popup Email Capture Forms

I created a popup form in just a few minutes using the intuitive wizard which guides you through the process.  Beware is you opt for the basic EMAIL service you will only get a simple popup with a fixed 5-second delay that will also show the Constant Contact branding logo.  For anything more advanced you will need EMAIL Plus.

Visual Automations In ConstantContact

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  ConstantContact provides all of these services included in the price.

But what truly separates ConstantContact from the crown is the visual automation application, which makes it easy to implement a customer journey through your processes.   Because automation, triggers actions, tagging and segmentation can get complex very quickly, the best approach to it is via visual representation of the processes.  What this video to see it in action.

Automated Resend To Non-Openers

This nice feature is also included in the basic package and allows you to resend an email with a tweaked subject heading to people who did not open the original email.  Not all service providers offer this functionality.

ConstantContact Reporting & Analytics

ConstantContact has a basic approach to reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  Use can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

Reporting List Growth & Clicks Over Time With ConstantContact -Video

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit ConstantContact for a Free 60 Day Trial

 

Advanced Email Features

Is ConstantContact Falling Behind On Machine Learning?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the excellent new innovations by GetResponse which  enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example, 9am in every timezone, it is called “Time Travel” by GetResponse. ActiveCampaign and SendX also have similar functionality.

So the answer is yes, at this price point I would expect ConstantContact to offer right time email deliverability & timezone specific deliverability.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Constant Contact RSS to Email

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Constant Contact Email to Facebook

As with the RSS function, you can quickly and effectively integrate the Constant Contact mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page.

Constant Contact Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability to be able to send an automatic update to your twitter profile from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvement that saves time and effort.

Special Constant Contact Features – EMAIL Plus Tier

Constant Contact Special Features
Constant Contact Special Features

What I do like about the special feature set in Email Plus, is that you have included:

  • Survey & Polls – are integrated natively and easy to use
  • You can easily set up and collect donations
  • Eventbrite Webinar Integration

However, these features are hardly unique and are available with GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport.

ConstantContact’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

ConstantContact is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers or trying to replace a fully-fledged Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. So if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

ConstantContact does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.

ConstantContact Integrations

ConstantContact does not have native payment processors or eCommerce functionality like GetResponse, but it does have a huge set of powerful integrations that enable this functionality.

ConstantContact’s strategy is not to build a completely integrated solution themselves, but to build integrations to a select group of 3rd parties.  They have also created a marketplace for 3rd parties to develop integrations and sell them.  There are 460+ integrations but many of them will cost extra, this is unlike almost all other marketing software services, who do not charge.

Security & Certifications

At this stage in the development of the internet, cybersecurity is of utmost importance.  High profile data leaks and hacks are resulting in large fines to businesses that do not adequately protect their customer’s data.

Email Service Provider Security Compliance Table

GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times14/5
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆

 

Constant Contact does have a band of loyal followers, with great ratings on Trustpilot and Twitter.  Support times and response times are solid with a very helpful support team.  Their selection of tutorial videos in the help center is excellent and will help you achieve most of what you want.  In our How to Choose The Best Marketing Software article, there were many small business owners who liked constant contact.

ConstantContact Review Summary

ConstantContact excels in email deliverability and has many of the core email marketing services you will need as a small business. But those core features require the Email Plus service tier, and at this price point, it is missing some key features like time zone & smart deliverability based on user open times. Do not expect any meaningful CRM functions or payment gateways, but they do have a large set of “pay-for” integrations.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

ConstantContact Email Marketing – Full Features Data Sheet

Email Service ProviderConstant Contact Email Services
Value for Money☆☆☆
Features☆☆☆
Deliverability☆☆☆☆
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Client Satisfaction☆☆☆☆☆
Support☆☆☆☆
Total Stars23
Price ModelContact
Free OptionNo
500 Contacts$17
2,500 Contacts$38
10,000 Contacts$81
25,000 Contacts$191
50,0000 Contacts$295
Unlimited Contacts
Cost per Contact (cents)0.82
Primary Features eMail
eMail Templates
eMail Images
Email Form Templates
Drag & Drop Email Design
Autoresponders
Marketing Automation
Individual Customer Automation
Customer Tagging & Segmentation
Intelligent Timing Delivery
Time Travel (Global 9am Delivery)
Basic Email Analytics
Powerful Email Analytics
A/B Testing
SPAM Scoring
Advanced Features
Webinar Integration
Hosting Webinar & Recording
Email from RSS Feeds
SMS Marketing
Postcard Mailing
Automatic Product Recommendations
Site Chat CRM Integration
Membership Site Service
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accounts
Sales Team Lead Distribution
Salesforce Service Integration✔ (i)
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Polls
Sales/Lead Funnels
Landing Pages
Exit Popups
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations
Full Payment Gateways
Abandoned Cart Integration
Win Back / Bounce Back
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons
Referral Program Mgt
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Management
Facebook Integration
Cross Platform Journey Tracking
Activity Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations456
Zapier App Integration
Deliverability☆☆☆☆
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Customer Satisfaction☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times14/6
Response TimeImmediate
Customer Support☆☆☆☆
Visit the VendorVisit ConstantContact
Constant Contact Email Marketing Services Data Sheet

How We Rated the Service

Email Service Provider RatingsPrice Monthly (15-20% Discounts on Yearly Payments)
Value for MoneyPrice Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
FeaturesHow Complete is the Toolset
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Client SatisfactionUsing Twitter Customer Sentiment: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
SupportAverage Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Price ModelEntry Level/ Basic Package Prices – Per Contact Model = $ per ‘000 Contacts “unlimited Sends” or “Per Email Model per ‘000 email sends – Unlimited Contacts
Primary Features eMail
Email TemplatesIs there a broad selection of predesigned email templates?
Email ImagesAre images for emails available for free?
Email Form TemplatesPredesigned website ready templates for capturing new subscribers
Drag & Drop Email DesignEasily design great looking emails without HTML code
AutorespondersAre timed and action-driven autoresponders available
Marketing AutomationAbility to automate sequences of emails to customers
Individual Customer AutomationAutomation to tailor and personalize email content
Customer Tagging & SegmentationAbility to Tag, Segment & retarget customers by their actions, locations, time zones
Intelligent Timing DeliveryService optimizes send times based on when the customer previously opened emails
Time Travel (Global 9 am Delivery)The ability to target a specific time globally, e.g. deliver occurs at 9 am according to contacts time zone.
Basic Email AnalyticsReporting to allow reporting on list size, growth, open rates, bounce rates, etc.
Powerful Email AnalyticsAbility to see globally and individually the customer journey, actions, onsite and in email
A/B TestingMultiple sends with different content to test success rate
SPAM ScoringDoes the service check your content to make sure your messages are not flagged as SPAM
Advanced Features
Webinar IntegrationIntegrations Available for 3rd Party Webinar Services
Hosting Webinar & RecordingFull Webinar Hosting, Recording & Storage Service
Email from RSS FeedsCan you generate automatic emails from your website RSS feed?
SMS MarketingCan you send SMS messages and sequence and auto-respond?
Automatic Product RecommendationsAbility to insert product recommendations into emails – great for eCommerce businesses
Facebook RetargetingThe ability to retarget potential customer on Facebook after they visit your website or signup to your list
Site Chat CRM IntegrationIntegrated site chat which enables your contacts’ activities or requests to be added into your CRM or Marketing Automation for further sequencing
Membership Site ServiceDoes the provider offer site membership user management services
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User AccountsAdding multiple user or sub-user accounts so that you can collaborate with your team
Sales Team Lead DistributionSales team workflow to distribute contact and sales lead capture
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/PollsIs there an integrated survey & customer polling service included in the price?
Sales/Lead FunnelsAbility to visualize sales funnels and the customer journey through the pipeline
Landing PagesHosted pending pages integrated into your marketing automation
Exit PopupsAdvanced exit popup for your website available
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce IntegrationsNative full suite eCommerce integrations available
Full Payment GatewaysDoes the provider offer full turnkey payment gateways integrated into service?
Abandoned Cart IntegrationAbility to follow up with customers who did not complete a purchase
Win Back / Bounce BackAn effective solution for launching customer win-back campaigns
Payment Mgt
Discount CouponsIntegrated discount or promotional coupon service connected to payment gateways
Referral Program MgtCan you manage your own referral/affiliate program through the service – normally an expensive 3rd party service?
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal ManagementIs there an effective customer contact and relationship management system available?
Cross-Platform Journey TrackingThe ability to track customers activities across difference platforms, Website, Facebook, Email, SMS
Activity ScoringFunctionality to allow the grading of contacts/prospects by their activities, e.g. Points Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party IntegrationsHow many 3rd party integrations are available through the platform?
Zapier App IntegrationZapier provides over 1500 integrations, is Zapier available with this provider?
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Security & Certifications
GDPR CompliantCompliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulations
SSL TLS EncryptionSite uses strong encryption
EU-US Privacy ShieldCertified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Customer SatisfactionUsing the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. Blank means no ratings were available
Customer Twitter SentimentUsing https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
Customer SupportSupport (Chat, Email, Phone)
Support Times
Response Time
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility

 

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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