Constant Contact is an affordable and easy-to-use email marketing tool that lets you create email marketing templates, automate and manage campaigns, build contact lists, and nurture customer relationships. In this tutorial, we'll walk you through how to get started with Constant Contact and show you how to use the main features.
Constant Contact Pricing: Based on feature set and list size, starting at $20/month, with discounts for six-month and annual contracts.
Connect Constant Contact to 1,500+ other apps with Zapier's Constant Contact integrations.
How to Manage Account Settings in Constant Contact
Once your account is created, you'll want to set up your account settings so you can automate the information that appears within your emails. Click your name in the top-right and then select My Settings.
You can also modify your Signature Information, which populates the information that appears inside the signature block of your email. This includes your name, email address, and an image. The Form Name setting allows you to modify the name that appears in your contacts' inbox. We recommend using your business name.
Other account settings you can edit include how you manage contacts, your organization address and time zone, and opt-out/opt-in confirmation messages. You can also update the information that appears in the footer of your email, such as your profile link and unsubscribe comment box.
How to Add Contacts to Constant Contact
Before you start sending emails, you need to build your contact list. Constant Contact offers three approaches to uploading contacts: You can copy and paste them directly into Constant Contact, import contacts from a spreadsheet, or integrate Constant Contact with a compatible third-party app. (Note that Constant Contact is a permissions-based email marketing platform, meaning you must receive a customer's consent before adding them to your email list.)
To manually add a contact, go to Contacts > Add Contacts, and select the method you'd like to use (typing one contact or typing/pasting multiple contacts at once).
If you have your contact lists saved in a spreadsheet, you can upload the following file types: .XLS, .XLSX, .CSV, .VCF, and .TXT. To prevent file import errors, try to format your list with email address in one column and each other piece of information about the contact in its own column.
If you're importing contact information from third-party software, Constant Contact integrates with Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Mailchimp, and more. To import contact information from any of these tools, select the Integrations tab and follow the instructions.
How to Create, Edit, and Preview an Email in Constant Contact
With your contact list created, you can now prepare an email to send to your list. Start by clicking the Campaigns tab and selecting Create and then Email.
There are a variety of email templates, including purpose-built templates for things like restaurant promotions and holidays. When you find the template you like, click on the thumbnail to begin editing it. To see how the template renders on a mobile device, click the preview icon.
Within the template, sections of the email are divided into blocks, where you can add text and images and change backgrounds and coloring. You can adjust the format of the email by dragging and dropping components. There are also options for creating calls-to-action, text links, clickable image links, social media icons, and social sharing buttons.
In the upper-right corner, there's a pencil icon that allows you to give your email an easily recognizable name in your account. This name is for your eyes only—your contacts will only ever see the subject line you create and the content of the email.
When you're done creating your email, you can preview it and send yourself a test version of the email from the Check & Preview dropdown menu at the top of your screen.
How to Schedule and Send an Email in Constant Contact
Constant Contact allows you to send emails immediately or schedule them to be sent at a later date. Within the Campaigns tab, you can select an email to be scheduled by clicking the Status dropdown menu.
You can then select the individual recipients or email lists you want to send your email to. Next you'll create an email subject line, apply a From Name, select the email address that the email is being sent from, and add a reply-to address. You can then select Send Now or Schedule for Later.
If you choose to schedule for later, you will be prompted to specify a future date and time to send your email. This defaults to one hour from when you clicked the Schedule button if you don't specify a new time.
How to View Analytics in Constant Contact
To understand the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts, visit the Reporting tab from your account homepage. From there, you can see several high-level insights:
The Most engaged subject line displays the most unique opens received by an email you sent.
The Opens by device shows you where your contacts are viewing your emails.
Below that, a visual graph shows you how your emails have done compared to each other. By scrolling your mouse over the graph, you'll see each campaign's statistics plotted. You can also filter by campaign name, time period, and contact list to find the stats for a specific email campaign. By clicking on hyperlinked numbers in the graph, you can dig deeper into your report and see details about which contacts are interacting with your email and how.
All reports are capable of being exported as an Excel or CSV file.
How to Grow Subscribers in Constant Contact
Constant Contact offers you several tools to help you grow your list. To get started, visit the Sign-Up Forms tab on your account homepage.
From here you can select from two different tools:
Collect Sign-ups Online: Use this tool to embed a sign-up form on your website, create a pop-up sign-up form, create a landing page sign-up form, or even create a Facebook sign-up form.
Collect Sign-ups Offline: The offline sign-up tool allows customers to text a number to subscribe to your email list.
From the Sign-Up Forms tab, you can also create a welcome email for new subscribers and an email prompting contacts to update their profile information. Constant Contact will send you weekly email digests of your new subscribers and opt-outs.
We've covered the basics of how to use Constant Contact, but there are some additional features that we didn't cover:
Image Library and Hosting: Constant Contact has millions of stock photos that users can use in their emails. You can also store up to 2GB of your own images and documents.
Facebook and Instagram Ads: Create compelling ads and share them on Facebook and Instagram directly from your Constant Contact account.
A/B Testing: Constant Contact allows you to create an email with two different subject lines and send each to a test portion of your contact list to determine which subject line is more compelling.
Donations: Create mobile-responsive donation landing pages to raise money or awareness for a cause.
Surveys: Send emails that include surveys and track the results from your account.
Coupons: Add scannable coupons to an email that customers can redeem for future purchases.
Once you get up and running with Constant Contact, you'll be able to send professional email marketing campaigns that can help drive brand awareness and grow your business. For more on how to get the most bang for your email marketing buck, check out Zapier's guides to growing your contact list and email automation.