iContact is an online email marketing software developed by the iContact Corporation that allows following up with your customers by sending emails, surveys or autoresponders, as well as tracking the sends, opens and click-throughs. Our iContact review led us to the conclusion that it is one of the best online email marketing software, if we consider the price/features ratio and the number of increasing clients it gained since the launch of this service. The best thing about iContact is the fact that it offers a free trial, which is the ultimate guarantee that you can review iContact and see if it fits your needs before signing up for their email marketing services.
iContact is definitely one of the leaders in the online customer management field, and one of the main positive things about it are its easiness to use and deliverability rate (>99%).
Some of iContact’s features:
- Unlimited lists. You can create and manage multiple lists.
- Mailmerge features. You can send personalized emails based on the information stored about your customers (i.e. Dear <client_name>).
- Web based. Means that you can manage your email campaigns from any internet connected computer.
- HTML Templates. Provides templates to use for sending the emails (you can use custom html code too).
- HTML WYSIWYG Editor. Easy HTML editor even for non-techies.
- Basic image hosting. You can store images up to 500KB (total size).
- Scheduler. Email messages can be scheduled to be sent at specific date/times.
- Draft/Archive messages. You can save Draft messages or use the Archived ones to avoid re-entering the same email content.
- Fast sending. Emails are sent from servers with T3 fast speed internet connection.
- Preview. You can see how the email is going to look and even send test messages to yourself.
- Batch processing. You can send a message to multiple lists at the same time.
- Sign-up web forms. You can create and customize web forms.
- Process bounces. Offers bounce-back email handling.
- Importing. You can import subscribers and contacts using .csv files.
- Process duplicates. Duplicate emails are automatically deleted.
- Tracking. View delivered, bounces, opens, clickthroughs, and unsubscribes for each message.
- Exporting. You can export reports or your contacts.
- List segmentation. You can divide lists into targeted segments based on your criteria.
- Auto-responders. Send automated messages to subscribers based on how long since they subscribe or date.
- Surveys. Create, send out, and track the results of surveys.
I’ve been using iContact for almost 3 years now and I can’t say a single thing that I don’t like about it. The deliverability rate is as good as they say it is, my emails being delivered in time and with very few bounces (which aren’t related to the delivery method but to the accuracy of the contact list).
Another thing that I liked during my review of iContact is the fact that whatever html code you enter when creating the email, the design/structure of the email remains the same even if you switch from the HTML view to the WYSIWYG editor view – I almost pulled my hair when trying to do the same with Oracle CRM OnDemand, just because everytime I was trying to do this with it my code was parsed and styles lost – this is not the case with iContact, what you see is really what you get.
If you run a blog and want to send an announcement to your list that’s on iContact, you can use their RSS to email service which basically pulls the content off your rss feed and sends an email to your subscribers. This way you can get in touch with them by simply writing a blog post. Lastly there’s the price, starting at $10 per month it’s a bargain to keep up with your subscribers. Not to mention that they offer an iContact iPhone app, an Android app and several other widgets for popular CMS solutions (iContact for Joomla, iContact for Drupla, iContact for WordPress). Go for it.
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iContact had in 2011 a free version launched, though they stopped it a few years later. Instead it offers now a 30-day free trial which you can sign-up for to test how it works. Here’s what you can do with the free trial version:
- Create, send and track up to 100 subscribers. You can send a maximum of 400 emails.
- You can choose from different HTML email designs
- Social media marketing tools by integrating with your Facebook and Twitter accounts
- Free icontact for iPhone and Android mobile apps
- Built-in survey tool.
This will be a magnet for individuals, small organizations and start-up companies that need email marketing with social media integration. And iContact’s approach to this is brilliant, they gain more by helping you grow, as once your contact list approaches the 100 contact limit you’ll want to upgrade to the paid edition. You can sign-up for a free trial here: iContact free for 30 days.
I love it how iContact lets you focus on what matters most when doing email marketing: create and send optimized campaigns. It doesn't force you each time into verifying users (like Constant Contact does) but it doesn't tolerate spam either (even includes a spam checker for your email).