Constant Contact is easily one of the leading companies helping small businesses manage and send email newsletters. With 75,000 customers and growing, Constant Contact’s Gail Goodman and her team are experts in knowing what small businesses want or need in regards to email marketing.
One of the recent developments from Constant Contact is their user community, which I wrote about here. This vibrant community of Constant Contact customers helps each other with all aspects of email marketing. Questions such as how can I increase my email subscriptions? What are common open rates and many others questions are asked and answered received.
Although we can expect to see Constant Contact expand from its current offering of only email management, Gail is committed and focused on helping small businesses use email as a marketing tool. This is refreshing as there are so many companies simply having email marketing as one of many services they offer. Having email marketing as one of many services means your support team are not email marketing experts (as Constant Contact’s are) and means your focus has to be on making better 10 products instead of focusing on one.
Constant Contact’s call center handles 900 calls per day and each call is answered in about 2 minutes. This support team does much more than handle mundane “tech support” questions but is an overall resource for Constant Contact’s customers to do email marketing even better.
The user community, in fact, was an outgrowth of the call center to enable uses to get even more help – from each other including email marketing experts. This community, which I participate in, has a few industry focuses (such as travel and entertainment and retail) as well.
Gail told me about one of her customer’s successes.
A day spa, which uses Constant Contact to email its customers, had a full schedule for massages 2 weeks out. However as the 2nd week came around they noticed a lot of cancellations for the weekend and so they often had vacancies on the weekend. Their masuses were left twiddling their thumbs.
What this spa decided to do was to start a “Friday – last minute openings” email newsletter for customers who wanted to know about last minute openings due to cancellations. Guess what? They no longer have vacancies and their massage therapists are never bored on the weekends. In fact, customers sometimes contact the spa if they didn’t get their “Friday – last minute openings” email.
Some pundits are decrying that email marketing is “old school” now that RSS feeds and podcasts are getting so much attention. But Constant Contact’s success is proof that email marketing is going to be a critical marketing tool for small businesses.