If you’re looking for a solid tool that makes email marketing easier for your small business, Constant Contact’s Email plan might have everything you need. It’s ideal if you’re a beginner, or if you want an all-in-one platform that lets you easily integrate email campaigns, websites, online stores, and social media marketing. However, more advanced marketers will likely find it lacking in automation and analytics – and prices are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Why Is Constant Contact a Great Tool for Business Owners?
Constant Contact has been around for a couple of decades, making it one of the oldest email marketing services out there. With hundreds of thousands of users, it’s also among the largest – but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. So how do you know if it’s the best tool for your business?
From features and ease of use to customer support, I thoroughly tested Constant Contact to see where it shines and where it falls short. I found it a super user-friendly email marketing service that’s actively expanding into new areas with a wide range of features.
The simple interface makes it ideal for beginners, as well as small business owners who have more on their plate than just sending emails. What’s more, if you’re in the US, you can get a generous 60-day free trial of either plan with no commitment required. Elsewhere in the world, you’ll get one month free if you provide payment details upfront. Once that trial expires, however, prices are on the higher end of the spectrum.
On top of that, it’s lacking in certain areas that might significantly affect some business owners – like automation and analytics. Keep in mind that the tool itself is only available in English, although you can change the text of your email templates to 10 different languages.
Read my Constant Contact review below to find out all the pros and cons, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Extensive Integrations & Templates, but Basic Automation
Constant Contact offers all the basic features any small business owner might need, from real-time tracking to e-commerce marketing. Some features aren’t as advanced as those of other top email marketing services; for example, A/B testing is limited to subject lines, whereas with ActiveCampaign, you can test the performance of automation sequences too. But marketers who just want a solid, simple, and versatile tool won’t be disappointed by Constant Contact.
One of the first things I noticed about Constant Contact is that it’s much more than just an email marketing service. As soon as you hit the Create button, you can choose to develop an email, automation, social post, ad, event, survey, landing page, website, or online store.
All of these capabilities are built right into the same platform, allowing you to integrate various projects without switching between a ton of different tools. I’m all for simplification, so I love the idea of having an all-in-one tool for digital marketing.
Constant Contact has 20+ built-in integrations. This isn’t a huge number compared to other platforms, but it should cover most of your basic needs. You can create a sign-up form through Facebook or WordPress, import contacts from Google or Outlook, and connect your online store to Shopify or WooCommerce (to name a few).
Also, there are thousands of Zapier integrations to choose from – so no matter what you need, you can find an app to make it happen.
The Email plan includes basic automation features such as resending to non-openers (with a different subject line, if desired) and templates for welcome, birthday, and anniversary emails. However, if you want to create an automated welcome or behavioral series you’ll have to spring for the Email Plus plan.
In general, Constant Contact isn’t super impressive when it comes to automation. While all the basics like autoresponders and contact triggers are there, other tools offer more advanced options with greater flexibility. For example, GetResponse gives you four different types of A/B testing, while Constant Contact only allows you to split-test subject lines.
Constant Contact has a good variety of templates. You can choose frommore than 300 mobile-responsive options, which you can customize to your heart’s desire.
You can also create branded templates with your company’s colors and logo, or go for an industry-specific version. Admittedly, not all of the templates are amazing – some seem a bit outdated or don’t look super professional. But there are plenty of solid choices and you can easily tweak them to better suit your needs.
You can easily segment your contact list based on simple search criteria, such as actions taken, location, or company details. But beyond this basic capability, Constant Contact offers an especially useful feature: contact tags.
Tags allow you to categorize your contacts based on any information you like – which means you can customize your targeting strategy based on the information that matters most for your specific business goals.
Let’s say you run a tour company, and you want to target people who have demonstrated interest in a certain destination in the past. You can manually tag them with the topic (like “Paris” or “Lisbon”) and then send them specific emails about deals for that location.
This is one super unique feature that sets this platform apart. Constant Contact offers event management tools that allow you to promote your event and collect registrationswithin the same platform. You can combine this with e-commerce, landing pages, and email marketing features to create a well-rounded campaign.
Another thing I like about Constant Contact is that you can create a website – you guessed it – within the same platform. This feature is included on both plans, and honestly, it couldn’t be easier.
All you have to do is click the Website & Stores tab, then go through a guided step-by-step process to choose your design, layout, color scheme, fonts, and more. There are tons of website templates for different types of businesses, and the final result looks super polished and professional. You can also use it to build an online store.
Speaking of online stores, Constant Contact’s e-commerce capabilities are pretty much unbeatable. It’seasy to integrate e-commerce into your email campaigns, with features like trackable email coupons, abandoned cart messages, and user-friendly templates.
If you’re already using Shopify or WooCommerce, you can connect your existing store and sync your contacts. You can then create segmented lists based on purchasing actions, and customize landing pages and sign-up forms to drive sales. Both plans allow you to sell unlimited items, but there’s a transaction fee of 1.5%.
Constant Contact Emails Won’t Go Straight to the Spam Folder
Using a free online tool, I created a simple email to see how “spammy” Constant Contact campaigns are. Before sending it, I made sure all my links were intact and added a few personal touches to simulate what a real campaign might look like.
Good news: the email scored 10/10! No spamminess in sight.
It’s worth noting that Constant Contact doesn’t have a built-in spam testing tool, like Benchmark offers, so this is one thing you’ll have to do outside the platform.
One of Constant Contact’s biggest strengths is its intuitive interface, making it ideal if you’re new to the world of email marketing (or if you don’t have time to figure out an unnecessarily complex system). It’s very visual, with colorful icons and well-organized sections for images, layouts, and more.
Creating a new campaign couldn’t be easier and uploading contact lists is a breeze. The drag-and-drop editor simplifies the process of actually creating your emails, allowing you to customize them without the need for advanced design skills. The site also saves your changes automatically, so you don’t need to worry about losing your work.
As I mentioned before, elements like sign-up forms, websites, and stores are integrated into a single platform. This means you get the same user-friendly experience beyond email, with video tutorials and tips to guide you along the way. More advanced marketers won’t find as much value in this basic guidance, but for beginners, it’s indispensable.
Constant Contact’s email editing process couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is choose an element from the left-hand menu, then drag it wherever you want to place it. It’s well laid out, perfectly functional, and easy enough for even the most tech-challenged among us to master.
Check for Errors
Before you hit send, the built-in Error Checker feature makes sure you haven’t made any careless mistakes. It will let you know if your email contains any missing or invalid links, default content from the template you forgot to change, or other red flags. You can also send a test email to yourself to check everything’s in working order.
Preview Before Sending
Of course, it’s essential to know exactly what your emails will look like when opened. Constant Contact allows you topreview each email in desktop and mobile formats.
The optional add-on Inbox Preview, lets you see what your email will look like on Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. It’s an extra $10 per month – a bit expensive, but helpful ifyou’re willing and able to pay a bit more.
Easily Access All the Data You Need – but Not Much More
Analytics and reporting aren’t exactly among Constant Contact’s strengths, but they’re not obvious weaknesses, either. In short, you’ll get all the data you need – but nothing too advanced.
Certain features like mobile-specific reports and social media stats show the service’s efforts to keep up with the times. But it lacks helpful tools like send-time optimization and data-driven insights that some competitors provide. You can draw your own conclusions from the accessible reports, but Constant Contact won’t do much to optimize your campaigns for you.
Standard and Simple Analytics Dashboard
You can find the analytics dashboard under the Reporting tab. It’s split into two more tabs: Emails and Contacts. The Emails tab includes an overview of your top email stats and trends, while Contacts summarizes your subscribers’ activity and contact growth over time
The dashboard allows you to view reports from custom date ranges and compare different campaigns. You can also download reports in five file formats: PNG, JPG, SVG, PDF, or CSV. It’s a super simple setup, but not the most customizable. If you want to do any in-depth analysis, you’ll need to download the reports and figure it out for yourself.
Reports on Mobile & Social Stats
Constant Contact offers a variety of reports on different metrics. You can get basic information on click rates and open rates (including mobile-specific open rates), plus more detailed information from heat-tracking maps and campaign comparisons.
One stand-out feature is social media tracking, which allows you to see how your social media campaigns are doing on different platforms, in addition to regular email reporting.
Easily Turn Data Into Results
Constant Contact may not have automatic send-time optimization (like GetResponse or Sendinblue), but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out for yourself. The analytics dashboard provides basic details like open and click rates, which is really all you need to determine the perfect time to send campaigns.
Segment your contacts list into two or three groups, then schedule the same email to go to each group at a different time. Wait for the results, compare the data, and it should be clear which time was the most effective. You can use these findings to optimize future campaigns.
Constant Contact offers several options for customer support – each of which is available to all customers on any plan. Phone support hours are limited, but I found the alternative options are super quick and effective.
The first support option I tested out was live chat. I entered a simple question into the contact form and was initially shown a list of online resources that might answer my question (about how to import a list of contacts from Word). I chose to continue to live chat instead.
It took about two minutes for an agent to message me. At first, she didn’t directly answer my question, but when I asked her to clarify her answer was clear and to the point (Constant Contact does not allow you to import contacts directly from Word). She also offered some extra advice on converting the file from Word to another compatible format.
Overall, it was a quick and easy experience that gave me the answer I was looking for. On top of that, when I tried again the next day at 3:20 am EST, an agent responded immediately.
According to the Constant Contact website, live chat is available Monday through Friday. The exact hours aren’t specified, but if my own experience is any indication, it shouldn’t be too hard to get an answer whenever you need it.
Next, I decided to try the community forum. To post my question, I went to the Community page, clicked Ask for Advice, then filled out a simple form. I decided to request some basic advice on how to personalize my emails. I received a response from a customer service rep just under five hours later and was notified of the response by email.
The response itself was pretty simple, with a link to an article addressing the topic and a summary of the topics covered. To be fair, though, it was a very open-ended question. The article suggested was quite helpful, with specific tips for personalization. The only issue here was the five-hour delay – the community forum shouldn’t be your first stop for urgent problems.
In general, most existing posts in the forum feature detailed, personalized responses from customer service reps with links to helpful resources. It’s a great support option if you’re willing to wait a bit longer for an answer.
Finally, I wanted to put Constant Contact’s Twitter team to the test. The Help Center page encourages users to use Twitter as a source of support when live chat and phone aren’t available. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would actually be reliable.
I posted a simple tweet asking how to stop my emails from going to subscribers’ spam folders and tagged @ConstantContact. Within five minutes, they replied with specific advice and three links to additional resources. I was impressed and pleasantly surprised!
In addition to these three options, Constant Contact also offers phone support with limited hours. The main customer support line is available Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 10 pm, Friday from 8 am to 9 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm Eastern Time.
There are different numbers to call for different countries, and for website builder support and billing support (hours vary for each).
Constant Contact offers two paid plans: Email and Email Plus. The main difference is that Email Plus offers several additional email marketing features, like surveys, polls, coupons, advanced e-commerce marketing, and automated email series.
It’s worth pointing out that the other aspects of the platform – such as e-commerce and websites – are almost the same on both plans. The only other difference is that Email Plus allows you to have 10 users instead of three.
Both plans are priced depending on the number of contacts, not the number of emails sent – so you’ll never hit a monthly sending limit. But Constant Contact prices can get pretty steep if you have a big contact list to begin with, or if your business starts growing and you need to upgrade.
Test Out a Constant Contact Free Trial
There’s no free plan available, but you can get a 60-day free trial of the basic Email plan, if you’re in the US. For the rest of the world, you’ll get 30 days free. If you’re not in the US, you will have to enter your payment information, and you’ll be automatically charged unless you decide to cancel before it renews.
You can also save money by paying for six or 12 months upfront (a 10% or 15% discount, respectively). If your organization is a nonprofit, those discounts increase to 20% and 30% – some pretty impressive savings compared to other services.
Accepted payment methods include PayPal and all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).
Wondering how to cancel Constant Contact? It’s not quite as easy as I had hoped. When you go to the My Account page, there’s no clear link for cancellations. You have to click on the Edit button next to Payment Plan, which takes you to a page where you can easily upgrade online. If you’re trying to cancel, you’ll have to contact the Billing Team by phone.
There’s also the option to suspend your account temporarily for a small monthly fee. This allows you to maintain access to your contacts, reports, and images, and to create emails, and keep sign-up forms active. However, all scheduled and automated emails will be paused, and you won’t be able to receive survey results or event registrations.
If you want to cancel completely, you’ll have to call the number provided and speak to a billing rep. They’ll ask you to provide feedback and the reason why you’re canceling. You’ll get an email within 24 hours to confirm the cancellation. Not ideal, but not a total headache either.
In terms of refunds, it’s very straightforward. If you aren’t satisfied with your paid plan, within the first 30 days after your first payment, you can get a refund, and Constant Contact will cancel your plan immediately. Again, you’ll need to call the billing team to get your hands on that refund.
I'm the office manager for a small business, and I was tasked with coming up with an email marketing solution that wouldn't kill our budget. Constant contact fit that bill. It has a ton of great features such as email scheduling, real-time reporting, and tracking options. I was able to manage multiple contact lists and was able to remove duplicate contacts automatically. The best part is that you don't need to be a design or tech wizard to use this product. It's perfect for any small business in my opinion.
this service is only for those with little or no email marketing experience
Personally, I feel that this service is only for those with little or no email marketing experience. I have run campaigns for multiple companies and found this software lacking for those wanting mid-range or enterprise-level features. If you're new to email marketing or you are a small business with a tight budget, this may work, but if you are looking for something more robust, then you may feel that you've overpaid using this product.
I really like the interface and setting up contacts is fast and easy
I really like the interface and setting up contacts is fast and easy. One of the best features was the ability to reuse emails formats for various campaigns. I had an ongoing email campaign and rather than having to set up each separate message, I could simply modify the original template and continue. It's great for anything from one-time emails to long-term campaigns. It has saved me a ton of time, and ultimately money
Constant Contact is an incredibly user-friendly and versatile tool for small business owners and individuals. It’s ideal for beginners in the world of email marketing or anyone who wants an all-in-one platform that lets you easily integrate email campaigns, websites, online stores, social media marketing, and more.
This service has plenty of integrations and templates and super-efficient customer support. However, its automation tools and analytics aren’t the most advanced, so more experienced email marketers might prefer to look at some alternatives to Constant Contact with more options like GetResponse or ActiveCampaign.
If you just want a solid tool that makes email marketing easier for your small business, Constant Contact likely has everything you need.
What is Constant Contact?
Constant Contact is a top email marketing service designed for small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. In addition to email marketing, it offers tools for website building, e-commerce, social media, and more – all of which are included in every plan. Take a look at our list of the top email marketing services to see our recommendations.
Does Constant Contact offer a free version?
No, but there’s a60-day Constant Contact free trial if you’re in the US, and a 30-day trial for everywhere else. You’ll get access to all the features of the basic Email plan, but if you’re not in the US, you’ll have to enter your payment information to start the trial (and you’ll be charged automatically when it ends – unless you cancel first).
How much does Constant Contact cost?
The basic Email plan starts at $20.00 per month, and the Email Plus plan starts at $45.00. Constant Contact prices increase based on the number of subscribers, but discounts are available for longer commitments and non-profit organizations, and you can always save money with our Constant Contact coupons.
What are the benefits of Constant Contact?
It’s an easy-to-use tool for beginners and anyone without a lot of time on their hands. Features like website building and online stores are included within the same platform, making it an all-in-one tool for digital marketing. You’ll also get access to dozens of great email templates and efficient customer support.
Is Constant Contact better than Mailchimp?
Constant Contact is the superior service for beginners and small business owners, with more – and better – templates and a more user-friendly editing tool. Mailchimp may have superior analytics and A/B testing, but its basic features can’t compete with Constant Contact.
Melissa is a freelance writer, editor, and translator who specializes in content marketing and creative copywriting. She's currently based in Lisbon, Portugal, where she spends as much time as humanly possible in the ocean.