iContact Email Marketing Review – The Pros and Cons

Feb 29 09:49 2008 Nakisha Muhammad Print This Article

Check out a very objective review of iContact Email Marketing Service. Explore the pros and cons of this online service.

Overall Rank: 5 out 5 starsiContact is a very user friendly application. It was built with the novice in mind. The iContact interface is easy to navigate and visually appealing. The application is feature rich which allows you to gain more for your buck. Based on my review I would give iContact a 5 out 5 as it stands the test all in areas evaluated.Pricing – Ranking: 5 out 5 starsiConact is reasonably priced. The minimum pricing for 1000 Contacts is $14. They also offer a  Free Trial for 15 day.Basic Features – Ranking: 5 out 5 starsProsiConact has a very rich feature set. Some of the basic features they offer are actually paid services with other email marketing services. One of these include the Survey feature. The Survey feature allows you to create surveys so that you can get the input from the people you have in your database. Utilizing this feature you will be able to gear your newsletter and product promotions to what your customers actually want.Another great basic feature iContact offers is Image Hosting. iContact's image hosting plan allows you to host up to 500kb of images on their servers thus eliminating the need to host your images outside of iContact.ConsNoneCreating Messages – Ranking: 4 out 5 starsProsiConact allows you to use a WYSIWYG editor to create your messages. In addition to creating messages using HTML and the WYSIWYG editor,Guest Posting you also have the option to import a website despite the server the website resides on. I've personally used this feature and it brings the website in exactly the way it looks on the web. This is a GREAT feature to use to make sure your newsletter and website maintains it's branding without having to recreate your newsletter from scratch.If you aren't design savvy, iContact offers over 300 templates you can use instead. Just looking at iContact's visually appealing interface, it's clear that the templates they offer are just as jazzy and professional. You will also have the ability to setup autoresponders. Autoresponders are essential to any online business. They allow you to automatically keep in touch with your clients based on their interest. ConsAccording to feedback I've received, iContact's WYISWYG editor adds extra HTML code when copying/pasting from a Word document. It appears that once it's a problem it's difficult to rectify. The easy solution to that would be to copy/paste from a text editor. The only other thing here is that they do not offer an option to add attachments to your emails.Reporting and Tracking – Ranking: 5 out 5 starsProsTracking the results of your campaigns is absolutely necessary to determine what's working and what's not. iContact has a set of reporting tools that will assist you with this task. You will be able to track the number of people that open your newsletter, click on links in the newsletter, and even be able to tell how many of your emails are undeliverable. Say for instance you have 1000 contacts in your database. You decide to send 500 of them your newsletter on Thursday morning and the other 500 on Thursday evening. Utilizing the reporting and tracking features in iContact you can then determine what time of the day on Thursday yields the best results.ConsNoneList Management – Ranking: 4 out 5 starsProsHow your list is managed is one of the most important factors in email marketing. Some of the key features that iContact offer in this category are list segmentation, sign up form generation, automatic duplicate removal, double opt-in is optional, automatic unsubscribe and many more.The two list management features that jump out at me are optional double opt-in and the ability to design custom forms. When someone signs up for your newsletter on your website it's nice to decide whether or not they need to verify their subscription. Don't get me wrong, subscription verification has it place and generally yields a higher open rate. Utilizing the custom forms feature allows you to request information unique to your specific campaign. This is an excellent tool.ConsNone Sending Options – Ranking: 5 out 5 starsProsiContact offers all of the standard sending options available with other email marketing services. Some of these include sending via the internet, html and text message options, and spam check. While these are generally standard services for most email marketing services, the key is reliability and usability. iContact stands the test in both areas.One feature that iContact has that others don't is the ability to manage events. If you are person that do teleclasses or any other event oriented marketing this would be an ideal tool.ConsAlthough iContact offers the ability to to schedule a future date to send your emails they do not have a time option. This can be a rather important feature if you learn that sending out newsletters at a specific time greatly increases your open and clickthrough ratio. No worries though, starting out you can go in an queue up your campaign at the specified time that you need it to be sent.Support and Extras – Ranking: 5 out 5 starsProsiContact offers tech support via phone, email and online. They also have a community that you can ask questions concerning the use of iContact. Your newsletters will be published in an archive for other users to view as well. You will be given a url that you can direct people to allow them to read your newsletters online.ConsNoneIf you enjoyed this article, please visit my Online Business Blog and Digg this article. Also leave comments if you have anything to add.For more product reviews, see Resource Center for Online BusinessesTo your online success,KeyerainesCopyright © 2008 Keyeraines Unlimited, Inc.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Nakisha Muhammad
Nakisha Muhammad

Nakisha Muhammad (Keyeraines), expertise includes 12 years of financial consulting in the mortgage industry and innovative technology. Starting at a young age she developed a passion for technology which led her to become a fundamental programmer and web designer. Her business savvy skills include research, attention to detail, and general business startup advice. She has a genuine pleasure in sharing her knowledge with others. Her goal is to reduce the learning curve so others won't have to struggle to learn the skills she has obtained. With this in mind she started a website to be a true resource center for online/offline businesses. Visit Start an Online Business Resource Center to learn more.

View More Articles