I contact Dating back to 2003, it is one of the longest-running email marketing services available today, with over 100,000 small businesses using it, including NASA, Habitat for Humanity, and the Tennis Channel. It has features for small businesses new to email marketing, such as the drag-and-drop email editor, and powerful tools for professional internet marketers such as landing pages.
When it was introduced, iContact was one of the best email marketing services for automating marketing emails, but how does it hold up today? In our review of iContact email marketing services, we focus on whether the software remains a top choice.
Subscriptions and Prices
iContact has two primary plans: Free and Advanced. For businesses with less than 500 contacts, the free plan is actually free, and the advanced plan starts at $23 per month. The Free subscription does not require a credit card and has features such as a drag-and-drop email designer, email support, and the ability to send up to 2,000 emails per month.
The Advanced subscription adds features and supports up to 1,500 contacts in the lowest configuration. This top-tier plan has unlimited sends per month, marketing automation, unlimited landing page creation, and phone, live chat, and email support. The Advanced plan also adds more automation workflows, such as re-engagement campaigns and event promotion.
Prices increase on a sliding scale based on the number of subscribers you have. For example, if you have 5,000 subscribers, the price will be $65/month for the Advanced plan and $199/month for 25,000 contacts. If you have more than 50,000 subscribers instead, you’ll need to contact the company for a custom quote.
Also note that iContact also includes a free Kickbox account. This works to maintain a “healthy contact list” so that emails reach their intended recipients. A 20% discount is also available for eligible nonprofits.
iContact has an email drag-and-drop editor that creates fully responsive layouts (emails look just as good on computers as they do on mobile devices.) If you choose the advanced plan, you have access to a designer from landing pages with drag and drop.
You can use automation tools to programmatically send emails based on customer behavior, such as by date and time, through subscriber events, and with engagement triggers. You can also A/B split test your emails to find out which of your marketing messages performs best.
Setting up iContact is simple and involves signing up with your name, email address, and phone number. When you first open the iContact dashboard, it is recommended that you add contact lists, which you can enter manually or upload in .csv or .xls format. Contacts can be organized into smart groups called segments and add custom fields.
Creating the first email message is easy, starting with hundreds of temples, then there are over 40 themes to choose from, each with about 12 layouts. Elements can be easily dragged and dropped through the email design.
During our testing, we found that iContact’s email delivery rate is an improvement over most email marketing tools we’ve tried. Note that very few emails sent from this platform are sent to the abyss of the spam inbox.
Over 1,000 licensed stock photos are available to create a unique email for maximum impact, and designing an email is easy with the drag and drop interface. However, the task is more difficult if you want to create an email from scratch.
iContact also has powerful list management tools. It is easy to create subsets of contact lists based on, for example, zip code or when the user is added to the database. This platform also integrates easily with over 100 apps, including PayPal, Shopify, and Survey Monkey.
iContact is certified in accordance with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework. However, in 2010, the service suffered a significant security breach, in which subscribers’ email addresses were compromised.
iContact offers a wealth of content to help you become a better email marketer. There are over 100 professionally created webinars, videos and guides to optimize your PR, email designs and campaigns that can help beginners and experts alike. The professional content available through a blog, podcast and email lookbook will all help you to become a marketing expert, for example the webinar on ‘Head & Heart of Marketing: Why Your Emails MUST Have These 10 Things’. We also found excellent video walkthroughs of the software and training videos on every aspect of the portal.
For technical support, a packed FAQ section explains each part of the software for those seeking self-help. The free plan only has email support and we found a support portal to get in touch with. Alternatively, advanced plan users can access live chat and phone support for instant contact, and are available Monday through Friday, 9am to 7pm EST.
An alternative to iContact, Infusionsoft is worth checking out, especially if you have a ton of contacts to work with and find that iContact’s features aren’t quite advanced enough for your needs. iContact has many of the tools a small business needs, but Infusionsoft allows larger businesses to embrace more complicated and automated workflows, with better control over list management than iContact.
In short, iContact offers a solid product and is competitively priced. Its excellent introduction and comprehensive tutorials make it a solid choice for a small business starting out in email marketing, with plenty of supporting articles, webinars, and blogs to support your continued growth. While some professional marketers may find that the automation, segmentation, and metrics lack the detail needed for large-scale, complex marketing plans, those with more modest goals will certainly be pleased with what iContact does better than most.