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This is part two of an ongoing series on email services. In the first post about email services I talked about two of the major players, Constant Contact and Get Response. In this post I’ll focus on Constant Contact and it’s features.

Let’s review some terminology first. There are three ways to create an email database.

  1. Opt Out
    We gather business cards, bring them back to the office and enter them into our Microsoft Outlook, or maybe Mozilla’s Thunderbird, Gmail or Yahoo. We create lists and put the emails in those so we can email conveniently. I shared a story in the first post about how quickly a business can outgrow that method of list building.
  2. Opt In
    We bring the business cards back to the office and open an email service, like Constant Contact, and “add a contact” to our email database.  You can also have a form on your website that your visitor can fill out to subscribe to your list. This is actually the true definition of opt in.
  3. Double Opt In
    This is the “best practice” in growing an email list, or database. Once your visitor enters their name and email address into your form, they are sent an email with a confirmation link that they have to click to confirm their subscription.

Constant Contact has some of the easiest to use templates I’ve seen. They make it very easy for you to create an html ezine (a pretty ezine) without having to know any html. Constant Contact also gives you 50 mgs of space for documents and images.

You can create as many lists as you want, including opt-in forms with more than 20 custom fields so you can secure a lot of information on the form. There are autoresponders, but it’s not like GetResponse which is an autoresponder service. You get 20 autoresponders but can only use 10 at a time.

It’s easy to insert your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin icons, that link to your social profiles. You can also insert a PayPal button, or Amazon button.

Of course, you have reports that tell you how many of your emails were opened and how many links were clicked on in your ezine. Best of all, you get to include a coupon at the end of your ezine.

For an additional charge, you can create surveys, polls and manage events. Check out Constant Contact. They have a 60 day free trial period.

Next post in the series: Marketing With Email

Let me know how you list build from your site.