Intro: iContact Reviews
Most businesses and organizations have probably come across iContact in their search for a provider of integrated email and social media services. What is iContact, and what makes it different from other types of email marketing companies?
We, at AdvisoryHQ, have compiled the following helpful information, including iContact reviews and iContact pricing, to help you figure out whether this provider is right for your needs.
iContact was founded in 2003 and has its headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina. The founders, Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton, developed the company with the goal of helping small businesses manage their email marketing.
Image source: iContact
Since they aim to serve smaller businesses, ease of use was a major factor in developing the services provided by iContact. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to send, track, and manage emails while growing your list of subscribers. The service manages your email contact list, allows you to create professional emails, and tracks your emails to provide useful reports.
iContact helps you manage subscriber lists by adding new emails via signup forms on your website or Facebook pages and by importing lists. Each subscriber can choose specific preferences regarding the messages that they receive, and you can group subscribers into different lists in order to provide targeted messages.
The iContact program provides hundreds of email templates for use in drafting messages to subscribers. You can customize emails with text, images, and brand colors. The emails are mobile-friendly, and the interface does not require knowledge of HTML coding (though there is the option to use HTML coding).
iContact works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use it to schedule posts on your social media accounts, plus iContact features social sharing buttons that you can add to emails.
The service tracks your emails and provides real-time data on its interface. iContact’s guide, Email Marketing Metrics Explained, details the significance of the different data provided to users. There are individual reports for each message, including the number of subscribers who opened the email, how many times it was shared on social media, and how many times any hyperlinks were clicked.
There are pros and cons of email marketing with any service provider, but iContact reviews generally tend to list more positives than negatives.
Pros of iContact
Image source: Bigstock
- There is an easy-to-use dashboard interface
- iContact has integrated social media features designed for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- It allows you to build a list of email contacts from social media
- You can create “do not contact” and unsubscribe lists
- iContact offers monitoring tools that allow you to create aliases and send emails based on demographics or filters
- There is comprehensive customer support
- No limit on the number of emails that you can send
- SpamcheckTM prevents emails from ending up in subscribers’ spam folders by giving you feedback on “red flags” before you send your message
- Excellent integration with other programs like Salesforce
Cons of iContact
- You cannot import contacts from Gmail or third-party address books
- There is limited auto-responder functionality
- Small image storage allowance (5MB)
- iContact does not provide Google analytics
- There are some complaints in iContact reviews claiming that customers cannot cancel their accounts
We’ve heard the good, we’ve heard the bad, but what exactly does iContact have to offer? Let’s dive into some of the services offered by this email marketing company.
While iContact allows you to send an unlimited number of emails, one of the frequently cited disadvantages in iContact reviews is the limited amount of image storage space.
The iContact image library only provides 5MB of storage; however, there is an option to buy additional storage space. The iContact pricing for additional storage space is ten percent of your monthly fee for 10MB of space or twenty percent of your monthly fee for 20MB of space.
The iContact app is available for iOS and Android products. The app allows you to add contacts to your email lists, preview drafted emails, send or schedule marketing campaigns, track data regarding sent emails, forward real-time data, and connect with customer support.
Many reviews of iContact mention really helpful customer support, and what could be more important? Their website offers webinars, tutorials, guides, a help portal, and even a blog for their customers. These resources help teach the ins and outs of marketing with emails and also provide practical advice on strategy, features of the service, and functionality tips. These resources are available 24/7, whenever you’re ready for them.
But sometimes, you just want to talk to a live person to ask a question. iContact provides customer support via telephone, email, and chat.Telephone and chat support are only available Monday through Friday, from 4:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m (ET). Consequently, lack of weekend live support is one of the most-frequently cited cons to iContact.
iContact pricing is based on a monthly rate. They do offer you one month for free, so that you can try out the service to see if it’s right for you. The trial month includes unlimited access to their technical support team. You can create a campaign with up to 100 contacts and send up to 400 messages during the trial month. Also, iContact gives a fifteen percent discount on their rates if you sign up for an annual contract.
Below is the iContact pricing for a basic plan:
- Up to 500 subscribers: $14.00
- Up to 2,500 subscribers: $32.00
- Up to 5,000 subscribers: $52.00
- Up to 10,000 subscribers: $79.00
- Up to 25,000 subscribers: $117.00
iContact pricing for the Pro automation service is as follows:
- Up to 2,500 subscribers: $99.00
- Up to 5,000 subscribers: $129.00
- Up to 10,000 subscribers: $189.00
(If you have more than 10,000 subscribers, contact iContact for a quote for their services.)
Pro automation provides some additional features as opposed to the basic service packages. While a basic account provides social media integration with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the Pro package also works with Google Plus. Both account types offer discounts if you prepay for an annual contract.
The Pro package provides additional tracking information (e.g., website and landing pages) and works with Google Analytics. Also, it offers advanced campaign options like responsive landing pages. The Pro service allows for multiple profiles as well.
Finally, going with Pro automation provides you with access to iContact’s design services team and a personal advisor. The design team can help you create custom elements, like footers, signup pages, and subscription forms. A personal advisor will work with you and provide analytical data specific to your industry.
Looking for even more service? iContact offers customized “Premier” packages, but, again, that iContact pricing is based on your specific needs.
iContact continues to receive many different types of recognition for the services it provides to customers. One of the most recent accolades was a Gold Award from TopTenReviews.com.
Their review of iContact points out: “One impressive feature within this email marketing service is the ability to create, send and manage custom surveys. This is an excellent way of getting important feedback, and it encourages two-way communication between you and your customers.”
iContact was a winner of G2 Crowd’s prestigious Best of Breed Leader designation in the summer of 2015. This award is based on reviews from registered users.
In 2011, iContact won the Global Call Center of the Year Award from the International Customer Management Institute. One of the reasons that iContact won this award was because they offer free email marketing services to all North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations. Also, they provide a 20% discount for nonprofits outside of North Carolina.
iContact won the AppExchange Best Mass Email App Award in 2010 and 2011 due to its ability to integrate with Salesforce.
Email marketing services reviews provide useful feedback on whether a specific provider is right for your business needs. We will discuss both positive and negative reviews of iContact below.
Image source: Pexels
iContact Reviews – Positive
PCMag reports in its review of iContact that they are “making it easy to create and track email campaigns.” In addition, the responsive and knowledgeable customer support is often mentioned in iContact reviews, like this review from TrustRadius: “The iContact support team is extremely responsive, provide support with world class customer service, and have saved me from spending time on technical research.”
Another pro of iContact is the ability to sort contacts into different groups. This feature allows targeted messaging to specific audiences. One reviewer from G2 Crowd, Steven P., stated, “The ability to track who opened, forwarded, didn’t open, etc. is a great asset when you want to know if your audience is valuing your message. I often find it helpful to use the resend a previous message, which means I don’t have to recreate the message from scratch.”
iContact prides itself on customer satisfaction. It polls customers each day to assess whether they are happy with its services. Over the last three months, iContact has had an 88% satisfaction rate.
Less tech-savvy users may rejoice at the great number of “What Is This?” links that interface provides to explain the different features. Users have found this very helpful with some of the more-advanced capabilities of the program.
iContact Reviews – Negative
An executive sponsor in computer software complained about iContact in a review on G2 Crowd: “They won’t let you cancel. You can’t change your plan online. You can’t remove your credit card. You can’t cancel online. You can’t cancel by chatting with their agents. They don’t respond to email. They say that you can cancel on the phone, but they never answer.”
Likewise, reports filed with the Better Business Bureau point to more cancellation problems, but of the 11 complaints on file with the BBB, all have since been resolved. So, canceling might be a huge headache…but this shows that it will eventually happen.
Chris Motola’s review of iContact on Merchant Maverick described the image editor as “rudimentary.”
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Is iContact Right for Me?
The reviews of iContact tend to agree that it is a very easy-to-use and powerful tool for email marketing services. There is an abundance of support available if you run into any issues. iContact pricing is reasonable in comparison to similar types of email marketing providers. The service also provides a great deal of analytical data on your email campaigns.
AdvisoryHQ definitely recommends that you check out iContact as it appears to be one of the best email marketing services available, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Be sure to take a closer look and see if iContact makes sense for you and your business needs.
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