As per a May 2012 report by the National Economic Council titled Moving America’s Small Business and Entrepreneurs Forward, almost 28 million firms in America continue to work with limited marketing budgets due to a persistently weak economy. No wonder then that all marketing battles in the small business space continue to be fought over two key aspects – affordability and ease of access. In an article last month we saw how ReachMail had launched a campaign called ‘This Mean War’, taking a direct shot at its key competitors Constant Contact and iContact. The crux of the campaign is access of hundreds of free email marketing templates for small businesses.
ConstantContact which already has more than half a million small businesses as its customers is also looking to target a large untapped market with its affordable, easy to use online marketing solutions. It has recently launched its AppConnect platform that enables seamless integration of applications to help clients do more with their online marketing efforts. As per Kevin O’Brien, senior director of the AppConnect program at Constant Contact, “When we talk to customers, we constantly hear how they are time-starved and looking for ways to quickly develop email marketing campaigns to meet their business goals”.
As part of its new platform Constant Contact has launched four new apps ( basic versions are free) specifically to help small businesses enhance their websites and email marketing campaigns. Let’s review these.
Glyder: This app allows mobile access to the ConstantContact mailing list. Use your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to access constant contact templates, create marketing campaigns and consistently update messages at the press of a single button across your social, email and mobile platforms. For small business owners (who may not have a dedicated marketing staff as part of their team) being able to design and initiate campaigns while on the move can be a real help in keeping marketing content fresh and engaging.
Rafflecopter: This app helps you design creative and fun giveaway campaigns. Once you give permission to the app to integrate with your ConstantContact account mailing list, the app makes it easy for prospects to become part of the giveaway. Also, it lets you integrate customer responses across your Facebook, email and blog to help you choose a random winner.
LoopLogic: This app lets you easily embed video thumbnails as part of your email campaigns. It also gives you information on when the videos were viewed and by how many people. It makes it easier to build your email database by asking unauthenticated viewers to fill a lead generation form before accessing the video. The information captured automatically gets updated on your ConstantContact account.
Digioh: This app lets you easily send out attachments such a PDF report, coupons, calendars as part of your campaign. As with LoopLogic, this app also gives you data analytics on viewership of the attachments as well as compelling non-subscribers to first enter their email address before accessing the file.
As per a survey conducted by SiteApps (they also offer more than 200 web applications for easy website personalization), the majority of small businesses considered their website, followed by email campaigns to be the most effective marketing investment. Clearly, these apps are a great way to enhance the potency of your email marketing campaigns, while also providing an effective method for building your customer base.