There are a number of email marketing services – Constant Contact, iContact, Campaigner, Get Response and others. They all deliver features useful in reaching your target market with push information and incentives like discounts, coupons, newsletters, event calendars, and much more.
I’ve used Constant Contact for a while now. The GUI is simple and the learning curve is short. To design, develop and deliver an eye-catching email. I’ve been with Constant Contact for so long now, that I think I’m just used to it. It’s been feeling a little stale lately, so I decided to give iContact another look — and I’m glad I did.
Price: iContact wins with the lowest price for the most features
The first thing you’ll notice is iContact’s low cost. Like many email services, iContact employs tiered pricing. The basic membership, which includes most of the critical features you’re looking for, is available with the basic edition of iContact. Cost? $10 a month. You lose more than that in spare change.
Mailing List and Campaign Management: Tie
iContact and Constant Contact both make creating emails and email campaings incredibly simple. Built in HTML editor, full templates, and full mailing list management. You can easily create different emails for different purposes, segment your mailings by demographic, subscription, on-site behavior of visitors, product or services, and other segmented demographics — that’s all pretty cut and dry.
iContact and Constant Contact both handle subscription management, in-bound bounce backs, and provide detailed delivery reports. These are all great tools, and from that perspective, both companies have been around for a long time and they both have the basics down with no discernible issues.
Best UI: Constant Contact wins by a mile
If a pretty and fluid UI and smooth user experience is your thing (as it is with me), then Constant Contact is the CLEAR winner — by a long shot. The iContact UI looks like it hasn’t been updated in 3 years. Constant Contact has clearly spent a lot of time developing their user experience, and it really shows. Everything is easy to find, and I never have questions about where to go next.
Social Media Integration: iContact is the only contender
It makes complete sense that if you are doing online marketing, you would also want to be able to send messages to various social media sites. iContact has you completely covered. You can send or schedule messages for all of the major social media sites (Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, etc). It is worth noting that Constant Contact has a Facebook integration, but only for monitoring your ads. It’s completely different. From a social media perspective, iContact is the only player and the clear winner.
Tech Support: Constant Contact for the win
I’m not saying that Constant Contact has great support. I’m just saying that iContact’s support is worse. 🙂
iContact closes the tech support desk on weekends, so if I do have a question or issue, I have to wait until Monday to get a tech on the line to walk me through. In testing iContact, I called the tech support line. BIG mistake. Even though my call is “very important” to iContact, the wait time was excruciatingly long. Note to iContact: Hire more tech support personnel so we don’t have to wait 20 minutes to get an answer to a simple question.
When you move up to the premium tier (at a higher cost, of course) you get a dedicated account manager who can help with design, delivery, and metrics analysis. However, the cost of this personalized service changes depending on the size of the project, and for start-ups and small businesses, the cost of an iContact account manager may be too much to pay.
Conclusion: iContact is my new reigning email marketing tool for 2016!
Here’s the bottom line: iContact delivers a lot of features at very reasonable subscription price, and the basic version ($10 a month) should do most of what you need done in creating and mailing emails to prospects. For the price, you actually get more features…
Sign up for a free trial
Click here to sign up for a free trial of iContact. In case you would like to try them both out, click here to sign up for a free trial of Constant Contact.
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