Introduce your business and what you do there.
JVM Design is a custom design company. We do graphic design and web design, but we also offer marketing services such as email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.
I am the Creative Director, and I founded the company back in 1995.
What was the business challenge your clients were facing that initiated the need for this platform?
I would say email marketing was the first thing. Constant Contact has branched out a lot now for different services, but email marketing was definitely the primary goal.
How does your company implement this platform or software?
Most of the clients that we have with Constant Contact have us custom designing email marketing templates for them, so they’re not using the typical DIY, build-it-yourself email templates. They’re hiring us to create something more customized that reaches their market better and handcrafts it to exactly what they’re going for. Then we code that template up for them for the design and then put into the system for them. They’re basically not using the interface, and we’re circumventing that with the custom coding, but that’s what our clients go for. They want that custom aspect to it. They want a professional to create the email marketing so that it is the most effective for them. Then we just put it in the system for them, and then they’ll actually send it out. They’ll schedule it and everything on their own, but we do the designs for them.
Currently, we don’t have anybody using other Constant Contact services, such as the ability to curate your Facebook posts or schedule Facebook posts. They have a way to tie in the Facebook advertising and things like that. We don’t have anybody doing that right now, so it’s really just the email marketing.
As far as email marketing goes, you can dig through every stat you can think of on Constant Contact, such as how many opens, how many click-throughs, etc. You could send them to different landing pages off the email and track it that way. Generally, most of our clients have a front-end form on their website where they’re collecting email addresses, so that’s all automated. You can see who unsubscribed or who subscribed. They have a full range of stats in there for you.
Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?
With us, it’s mostly client preference when it comes right down to it. We’ve worked with a number of email marketing platforms. The ones we recommend the most are Constant Contact and MailChimp. With MailChimp, we usually recommend it if a client has no budget because they still have the free plan, but the ones who go for Constant Contact are okay with usually paying $20 or more a month. Constant Contact does have those additional services like the Facebook and social media and everything. To help the client in the long run, they can always add those on in the future if they decide to go with that. That’s one of their benefits; they offer more than just email marketing, and you can upgrade at any time.
Who would you recommend Constant Contact to?
I would say they're good for small to medium-sized businesses. I don't know any enterprise clients personally that are using that. They have mailing list solutions that go well beyond. If you have a list of 100,000 people or something, they offer that. I can't speak to it personally because I haven't had a client that's used it. Most of our clients are small-business clients with mailing lists of maybe 500 to 10,000 people. I'd say that that's the bulk of the market.
Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?
As far as their DIY builder goes, it is pretty easy to use. I’ve seen some that are convoluted, but they’ve done a pretty good job on their user interface with that. For anyone who wants to go that route, I’d say they’re a good choice.
Are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?
Not right at this moment. They did a lot of improvements in the last year or so, where they had an older interface and they finally improved it. I would say they’re doing pretty good now.
Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?
I have had clients that have reached out to Constant Contact's support, and they were completely happy with it. They got a real person on the phone, and that person was able to answer their question or walk them through something in the system, like where to find a stat or something like that, so no complaints on their support.
We ask you to rate the software on a scale of 1 - 5, with 5 being the best.
What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?
What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?
5 – If you’re doing it yourself, it’s super easy. If you want to do a custom theme in our custom template, you really have to know HTML in order to do so. It’s a 5 for ease of use for DIY. It’s hard to rate it if you really wanted something customized and didn’t want to use the online tool; you really would have to know HTML, so it’s a split there.
For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?
How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?
For overall satisfaction with the platform?