Quick iContact review.
I know where they serve the best fried chicken this side of the Mississippi. That’s right, I said it.
When you first walk up to Price’s Chicken Coop, it’s dilapidated exterior and dated sign reflects that of a business on the rocks. On the window sill rests a smaller sign, equally as worn, that reads, “CASH ONLY”—the same way it did in 1962.
For the last 58 years, Price’s has been serving up big ol’ breasts, voluptuous thighs, and an accouterment of southern dining staples. To my own demise, I like to venture over every once in a while and remind myself what dining on pure gold tastes like. It’s there, I’m quickly reminded that the best things sometimes come in a white to-go box and that making something perfect doesn’t require much.
This is iContact. It’s not the second-best chicken shop this side of the Mississippi, and it definitely doesn’t serve up golden goodness in a box, but it does sling emails that slap harder than those first two.
Like Price’s Chicken operation, iContact brings together the basics for email marketing and wraps it all together without adding extra weight. Here there are no overly-complex funnel systems or confusing integrations and automation, it’s a straight-forward tool for brands looking to dish out gold to their audience’s inboxes.
With a simple and effective feature list, iContact empowers you to send emails triggered by automation, run campaigns that track real-time results, and deliver better customer experiences across the board. They’ve been using this recipe for over 15 years, which is more than most email platforms can say.
iContact offers two distinct plans, Base and Pro, that let you jump into email marketing with ease. For the tight-fisted and budget-friendly, they offer a starter plan free for 30 days, as long as you stay under 100 contacts. Anyone hitting more than 2.5k inboxes is looking at a rate of $36/mo for their Base plan and $72/mo for the Pro.
I’m not one to play games, which is why I’ll tell you now, if you’re going to partner with iContact, pay for their Pro plan. Whether your hitting 5k inboxes or 10k, their collection of advanced features paired with their customer support, make up for the elevated price.
If you are craving an email marketing tool that drops heat in customer’s inboxes without burning a massive hole in your budget, iContact might be your next big hire.
Want to know why?
This the iContact review special.
It’s important to stay rooted, especially in this wild game we call digital commerce. So often I see a brand that seems to have it all together—unique product, engaging customers, reliable staff and operations, the whole nine yards. Then after one seasonal low, they abandon the ship of what worked, for something new that has little to no credibility.
Too many eCommerce brands fall victim to this. Whether it’s from minimal experience or lack of knowledge, you’re reading this because you find yourself stuck between jumping ship or battening down the hatches.
Sure, it might be easier to jump, but then what? Sometimes holding it down, gritting your teeth, and driving straight into the bastard with what you got is best.
iContact has been doing this for a minute. Since 2003, they have been helping eCommerce mercenaries and brand warriors incinerate inboxes with great content. Based out of Raleigh, NC they bring a southern hospitality approach to email marketing, that most other solutions cannot touch—yes southern hospitality is a real thing.
What’s different about iContact is their dedication to keeping everything simple. Unlike its competitors, their feature list doesn’t take 7 mouse scrolls to get to the bottom of and their support team is comprised of real human beings—a miracle I know. From their intuitive email builder to intensive reporting, this is an elementary tool that administers masterful messaging.
You’re probably wondering what it costs to get a taste of this masterful messaging, so let’s talk about it.
How much does iContact cost?
iContact’s pricing is just like most competitors, flashing two separate plans, both of which are determined by contact list size. On the Basic plan, brands with 2.5k followers are going to see a starting rate of $36/mo for a limited collection of features. Bump that up to 5k or 10k , and you’re looking at $59/mo and $89/mo respectively.
For the brands looking to leverage everything iContact has to offer, the Pro plan starts at $72/mo for 2.5k contacts. Hustlers with a 5k person list will hand over roughly $118/mo, while anyone over 10k is going to pay $178/mo.
Here’s their pricing in case you wanted to see it for yourself.
Comparatively, it’s not the cheapest solution you can find—if that’s more up your alley, read this review. But what it lacks in financial frugality, it makes up for with furious features.
iContact’s combo box of features.
Drag-and-Drop Email Editor: create emails quickly and easily with their editor tool if you’re less artistically inclined. Those with some front-end skills can code their own emails from scratch if that’s your vibe. Plus, every email is responsive and A/B tested to make sure you sending stuff that people will actually open.
Automation: iContact is pretty brawny when it comes to automation. Compared to other services, they go deep into each contact’s history, allowing you to set up conditional triggers for messaging. For those who really thrive off automation, you should be willing to invest in their Pro plan as it has their complete collection of automation features.
Segmentation: If you’re sending the same content to everyone on your contact list, you’re doing this email marketing thing wrong. iContact has deep segmentation capabilities, allowing you to create custom lists and deliver content to specific contacts with specific preferences. You can form target audience lists that pull subscriber data and automatically place qualified contacts in that group.
Landing Pages & Forms: Shouting from the rooftops won’t get people to subscribe to your brand, but a solid form or landing page will. They offer a simple form builder that lets you create custom forms, ready for your website, Facebook, or other social. Once a contact decides you’re worthy of their email, custom fields let users enter personal information that can be used to automatically segment them based on criteria.
Performance Reporting: The days of tab hopping are over, iContact keeps all of your data in one place. From your regular scheduled campaigns to social media engagement and high-level performance reports, you can see all the inner workings of your operation, without feeling like you want to bash your brain with a brick.
Integrations: You’re here because you hustle online and you’re not doing it alone. Connect with your essential apps and integrations like Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce, and Zapier. And if they don’t have what you need, its cool, you can build it via API.
Multi-User Accounts: Not everyone can be trusted with the responsibility of sending screen-shattering emails. That’s why iContact lets you have multiple users on one account without taxing your ass extra. They even let you set permissions for each contact so the new intern doesn’t send over a rough draft of next week’s newsletter.
I told you they had some mouth-watering features.
Before I tell you who should be inkin’ a check right now, I’d like to drop a few knowledgable nuggets that those other reviews won’t talk about.
- With every iContact plan, you are given a strategic advisor, who’s your day-to-day marketing partner and sometimes your emotional support solution when things go awry.
- iContact users get 5MB of free storage for images and any additional space is charged at 10% of your monthly rate. If you’re planning on sending out a newsletter for your photography brand, be ready and willing to fork over more cash every month.
- Unlike its competitors, iContact lets any user access your account at no additional cost. For those who have an exclusive slack channel for using your email tool, delete that now.
- iContact offers a small but mighty social media tool that lets you schedule and track campaign performance with your emails.
Who iContact is for.
The small to medium-sized business that needs more punch in their email marketing, without diminishing their bank statement. You’ve been in the entrepreneurial game for a while and it’s time to upgrade from your old freemium account or limited paid plan.
The brands that want to keep email marketing simple. With so many complex solutions, you’ve realized you lack the technical skills to send emails on your own and need a partner to bring you up to speed.
Who iContact is not for.
The brand whose fists are tighter than a bull’s ass at fly time. If you’re in the business of saving coin, there are some other solutions, like AWeber.
More sophisticated marketing operations that are looking to send emails with dynamic content or highly customized templates. This lacks the power you’re craving. Something like ActiveCampaign might suit your desires better.
iContact did a damn good job at keeping email marketing simple when everyone started to do too much. If you’re a brand looking to flex your marketing muscles more without the need of more hires and a bigger budget, take a look at iContact, it might just be perfect for you.