While many marketing agencies are narrowing their focuses, and offering highly specialized tools for small business owners, Constant Contact is doing the opposite. What was once strictly an e-mail marketing company now provides SMBs with all the products and services necessary to manage social media campaigns, online business listings, limited-time deals and event promotions.
How It Works
Constant Contact is a full-service marketing company aimed squarely at small businesses, providing all the products and services an SMB could want in its marketing arsenal. Despite its expansive array of marketing tools, Constant Contact encourages new clients to restrict themselves and start out by signing up for just one product. The company's basic products include: E-mail Marketing, Social Campaigns, Event Marketing, Online Surveys and SaveLocal, a promotion distribution platform. Most SMBs start off by using Constant Contact's e-mail marketing product, and eventually add-on additional services to complement their ongoing advertising efforts.
As business owners become more comfortable with the basic products, they can begin exploring the apps, integrations and enhanced services available through the MarketPlace. These apps and services plug in to existing Constant Contact products, helping business owners do things like grow their e-mail lists, increase their presence on social media sites, and sync customer information across multiple databases.
Constant Contact in Action
Although Constant Contact's list of products and services is continually expanding, it's the company's robust e-mail marketing platform that brings in most clients initially. At Chattan Loch Bistro & Public House in Bellefontaine, Ohio, owner Tracy McPherson uses Constant Contact to distribute a monthly newsletter to customers whose e-mail addresses she gathered through social media marketing efforts. In addition to helping small business owners manage their e-mail databases, Constant Contact also offers customizable templates and social stats that show how many customers are tweeting, 'liking' and sharing the e-mails that marketers send out.
Businesses that run daily deals with providers like Groupon and LivingSocial can use Constant Contact congruently to keep track of the customer contact information they gather through these outside marketing efforts. This contact information can ultimately be used for distributing follow-up promotions and discounts that businesses run through SaveLocal, Constant Contact's new deals platform.
Why It Works
For the most part, the products and services Constant Contact offers small business owners aren't new or revolutionary. What Constant Contact has managed to do, however, is to find unique ways to combine products like e-mail marketing, social media promotions, and limited-time deals. Rather than signing up for three or more marketing platforms, businesses that use Constant Contact can manage their complete marketing efforts from one central dashboard.
Constant Contact has continued to make headway in a crowded market by snapping up smaller platforms—including SinglePlatform, MobManager and CardStar. The company's recent acquisition of SinglePlatform, for example, gives restaurants an easy way to publish menus online and keep their business information updated across an expansive publishing network that includes YP.com, Foursquare and the New York Times.
Maximizing the Benefits
To truly take advantage of Constant Contact's 360-degree marketing program, small business owners need to use more than just one or two of the company's products. For example: Businesses can grow their databases by using Constant Contact's Social Campaigns tool, and then use the information they've gathered to send monthly marketing newsletters through the company's Email Marketing product. These newsletters are an excellent place for SMBs to showcase the limited-time deals they're running through Constant Contact's SaveLocal platform. Meanwhile, companies can capitalize on the interest they've generated through all these marketing efforts by hosting branded events with the help of Constant Contact's Event Marketing program.
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Photo credit: Constant Contact