iContact stands among the America’s most popular email marketing services. Being headquartered in the Morrisville, North Carolina, iContact has helped various small and medium sized businesses turn into enterprise level organizations. On top, the provider claims to offer top-tier workflow automation and results-oriented email marketing services. iContact aims to serve clients looking to run dynamic email marketing campaigns, targeting massive audience located in different regions of the world.
In this iContact review, we will dissect every offering, campaigns, interface, email creation tools, performance, and claims of provider. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased and impartial review about iContact. Read along to discover everything about iContact email marketing service.
Pricing Plan – iContact Email Marketing
iContact email marketing service offers two pricing plans at the moment i.e. Essential and Professional. iContact believes in charging clients according to number of subscribers. Not to mention, if an email address is included in two separate lists, it’s counted as different users.
In addition, iContact offers a 30-day free trial that is limited to about hundred contacts and four-hundred messages. In case, a user wishes for enhancement in limit, the he must pay for subscription.
On top, iContact email marketing software offers a generous fifteen percent discount on prepaid annual subscriptions along with a twenty-percent discount for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations located outside of the NC. Besides, all the non-profit organizations located in state are eligible to avail free-of-cost service from iContact.
Surprising, the provider imposes a cap on image hosting at 5mb irrespective of any account. That said, subscribers could upgrade their account to either 10 or 25mb through paying additional charges. The additional charges vary from 10 to 20 percent of monthly fee. Below are the current prices of iContact’s plans:
The moment you start creating an email campaign, you’re provided with two design tools: Message Builder and Message Coder. The Message Builder is a WYSIWYG editor that offers about seven-hundred templates. On another hand, the Message Coder allows you to code a message through HTML. Having said, iContact offers you both options to either select from one of the templates or get one developed by a person who knows HTML coding.
While examining more campaign creation features, we discovered that iContact’s image editor is too basic, offering solely word wrapping and resizing. In addition, users can’t copy some of the page elements nor could they create buttons.
However, users get an option to wrap text around images. Putting it simply, the editor is handy to use yet often faces unexpected bugs. When considering message composition, one can preview it on a range of devices including mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
Sending Emails to Recipients
As a matter of fact, sending emails is a vital aspect of every email marketing services and clients tend to choose a provider that keeps email sending process simple as possible.
iContact has kept contact entry process very simple and clients can perform the task through three ways. They could fill out contact information form, upload an excel file, or copy/paste an email address in a block. Besides, you’ll be required to certify if all the recipients have agreed to receive email from you.
While setting up a list, you’ll be able to see an option for setting up an autoresponder email of welcome for fresh subscribers. In addition, iContact offers an option to double opt-in that’s an automatic message ensuring every new subscribers agrees to receive newsletter from you. In this way, a list becomes legitimized, and thus has fewer chances to face spamming complaints.
Overall, email sending process of iContact is hassle-free. Not only this, the provider offers an option to run an email through spam checker, ensuring an email is free from red flags that could move it spam folders. Afterward, a client could opt for a list to which he wishes to send an email. In addition, a user can also post an email to an integrated social media network.
List management stands as a vital task in every email marketing services and almost every provider tends to make contact import process hassle-free. iContact has made the process even easier by allowing clients to upload a file of contacts or add contacts manually.
In addition, subscribers could also copy/paste a list, making a list to populate automatically. However, iContact’s sign-up form is quite limited, offering no option to add an image. But, there are ample fields to fill contacts’ information.
Irrefutably, email marketing isn’t about just starting a campaign. It requires one to have a detailed knowledge about whether the recipients are reading and responding to an email or just moving it to trash without having a sight on it.
Having said, iContact offers a robust reporting system that provides clients with an in-depth tracking of campaigns’ performance. The tab provides results and information all campaigns, auto responded messages, click rate of a campaign and much more.
In addition, through this reporting system, clients could view bounced and opened emails. Not only this, clients could also, monitor a campaign’s reach on various social media channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and many more. Also, there’s pie chat representation of ratio between an email opened and clicked.
However, we couldn’t find a button for refresh, thus clients need to manually refresh an entire page. Beside, lack of Google Analytics integration is something iContact needs to look into.
iContact Email Marketing Service Features
iContact is with no doubt a feature-rich email marketing service. With a well-versed set of features, iContact maintains a massive subscribers’ base. Now, below are the features that make iContact stand apart from the competitors:
Subscribers’ List Management
With subscribers’ list being one of the essential gems in email marketing, iContact offers robust list management tools that allows email marketers to manage contacts without any hassle. Be it a website or social media channel, clients could freely import subscribers’ list from a wide range of areas.
One-Touch Message Creation
With robust message creation tools like Message Builder and Message Coder, iContact ensures creation of enticing emails that catch subscribers’ attention with an instant verve. Not only this, the sleek, elegant, and modern-day interface of iContact assists clients in creation of optimized emails.
Irrefutably, an email address serves as a gateway to communicate with the audience. iContact takes subscribers’ analysis a one-step ahead by letting clients analyze subscribers through their preferences at sign-up. Through this feature, clients become able to create effective engagement featuring more personalized and tailored emails.
Social Media Integration
With a wide range of social media channels’ integration, iContact offers extended reach of campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more platforms. With an addition of share button on emails, iContact enhances a message’s reach significantly.
Robust Reporting System
With just-in-time reporting system, iContact ensure that reporting activity never becomes bore for clients. Be it email tracking to analyzing recipients behavior, iContact’s reporting tools understand how to keep clients updated with the most useful stats.
iContact Marketing Automation
iContact email automation focuses to offer robust email marketing services and their Marketing Automation software serves as a handy addition to their products’ range.
They claim to provide powerful and affordable marketing through Marketing Automation software.We examined its features to ensure if it’s worth trying. Below are the features of iContact’s Marketing Automation software:
Enhanced Email Marketing
The Marketing Automation software offers nurturing of emails through segmenting them in a timely and customized manner. In this way, clients can take a step ahead of others and create a personalized experience for their target audience.
With handy workflows, clients become empowered to target audience with the most optimized content at just the right time.
The content is created based on audience type, location, and interests. Having said, clients could take a lead among competitors through using iContact email automation for sending more targeted and personalized emails to subscribers.
Efficient Reporting and Tracking System
To run a successful email marketing campaign, it’s essential to first understand what derives success or failure to a campaign. iContact Marketing Automation software helps clients to assign points to every marketing campaign and activity, providing more optimized stats.
Undeniably, social media has become major gem of digital marketing in the twenty-first century. In addition, leveraging social networks for email marketing can lead to powerful reach and results. iContact Marketing Automation software claims to offer integration across all major social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and many more.
Irrefutably, customer support serves as a prime mode of assistance at times of troubleshooting and issues. iContact email marketing service offers a wide range of helpful customer support systems. Currently, the provider claims to provide subscribers with a live chat support, helpline, resources, and a FAQs section.
For our editorial review, we tested iContact email marketing service chat support system and to our surprise, we were connected to one of the support agents within two to three minutes. The agent was supportive and provided with an upright response to our query about iContact Message Builder. Thus, we rate iContact email marketing software support system a fair score.
iContact Review – Final Thoughts
iContact is a worthwhile email marketing service. Their service features are befitting to fresh and moderate level marketers. On top, the user-friendly design, helpful support system, and advanced reporting systems are attention capturing.
However, one should pay attention to number of subscribers when opting for iContact email marketing software as the fifteen thousand limit could be hit soon to face increase in price. Overall, we rate iContact service 10/10 score in our iContact review.