Constant Contact v/s iContact

18 05 2009

I've been using Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) for managing communications with large databases for a while now and I find it a fab tool for sending out newsletters and email campaigns, it's very intuitive and simple to use with professional looking results. I've recently heard a few people talk about icontact.com, so I signed up to a free trial account to have a look and compare.

What I like about Constant Contact is that you have loads of templates and graphics and layouts to choose from. In icontact, there doesn't seem to be as much a vaste choice in pre-designed images and layouts, which I suppose is fine, because once you've found one template you like, you should stick to it so your recipients get used to your look and feel.

One feature that icontact has that Constant Contact doesn't is that you can create more than one sign up box for different lists. In Constant Contact, it's just one form that subscribers can tick which list they want to subscribe to.

Pricing is different too. Both have a scale of monthly charges depending on how many contacts there are in the database. Constant Contact starts at $15 for up to 500 contacts, then jumps to $30 for up to 2,500 contacts. icontact starts at $9.95 for up to 250 contacts, then $14 for up to 500, then $19 for 1,000, then $29 for 2,500, so it works out slightly cheaper than Constant Contact and better value when you have less than 2,500 contacts.

Images are dealt with differently too. icontact allows you to store up to 500Kb for free, then you pay 10% to have up to 1Mb and 20% up to 2Mb. In Constant Contact, you're allowed up to 5 images for free, then you pay just $5 per month for unlimited images.

For usability, I prefer Constant Contact. It may be because that's what I'm used to and I know exactly where I'm at and there's no fear of sending out a half baked campaign unintentionally to the whole database!

I'll give icontact a fair trial and use the 15 days up and see if I can get used to how things are laid out there. I'm allowed to upload 250 contacts within that (Constant Contact only allow 100 in their free trial)

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