iContact Review

By Kiely Kuligowski,
business.com writer
| Updated
Mar 04, 2020
Image Credit: Dekdoyjaidee / Getty Images

When you're choosing an email marketing service for your business, it's critical to find one that has easy-to-use features that make creating successful email marketing campaigns easy. That means you'll want a platform that has an email editor, a tool that lets you create segmented contact lists and ensures your emails get to the right inboxes. iContact is a great email marketing solution that offers comprehensive features and plans for small businesses.

iContact

iContact

The Best Email Marketing Services and Survey Software of 2020

The Verdict

iContact is our choice for best email marketing software overall. It offers comprehensive features and plans for small businesses, which make creating successful email marketing campaigns easy.

To see all of our recommendations for email marketing services, visit our best picks page.

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A good email marketing platform will also have a free trial or free plan to ensure businesses can learn and master the platform. You should also be looking for easy-to-use email creation tools, contact management tools, access to email analytics, segmentation tools, A/B split testing and spam filters. iContact offers all of these benefits and more to small and medium-size businesses.

iContact Pricing

Like most email marketing tools, iContact offers packages based on the number of subscribers you have in your contacts list. It has two different plans: Base and Pro. 

Both plans include a drag-and-drop email editor, welcome series automation, list segmentation, responsive email layouts, performance reporting, A/B split testing, subscriber list management, a design template library, spam checks, Google Analytics and sign-up form creation. 

The Pro plan comes with all of the features in the Base plan in addition to triggered messages, landing pages, engagement tracking, behavioral tracking, social monitoring, funnel reports and custom objects. Here's more about iContact's pricing plans:

  • For businesses with 500 subscribers, the Base plan starts at $15 per month; the Pro plan costs $28 per month. For 1,000 subscribers, the Base package costs $36 per month, and the Pro plan is $64 per month. 

  • If you're a qualifying nonprofit, iContact will give you a 20% discount on all plans. If you prepay for an entire year upfront, you receive a 15% discount. 

  • iContact can accommodate large businesses with massive contact lists. For businesses with more than 5 million subscribers, the Base plan starts at $300 per month. You'll need to speak with iContact's sales department for a quote on the price of the Pro package. 

  • If you have up to 15,000 subscribers, both plans include unlimited email sends. If you have more than 15,000 subscribers, you can choose between an unlimited sending capability or a discounted plan with a limit of 10 times your subscriber count a month. 

  • iContact offers plans for businesses that use Salesforce. Subscriptions start at $99 per month for up to 10,000 email sends per month. This plan includes integration with Salesforce, no daily sending limits, unlimited users, and, according to iContact, it has a 97% delivery rate. 

When you sign up with iContact, you're assigned a Customer Success Manager (CSM). The CSM serves as a resource for onboarding, conversion ideas, feature training and more.

iContact doesn't have a free plan, but it is free to set up a 30-day account and create email marketing campaigns with up to 100 contacts. If you want to send more than 400 emails, you need to upgrade to a paid plan.

iContact Features

iContact has a number of features and tools that make creating successful and professional-looking email campaigns easy. Here's a recap of iContact's various features:

A/B Testing

Before you send emails to customers or business contacts, you want to test them first to ensure they appeal to your target audience. With iContact's A/B split testing feature, you can easily test different email subject lines, incentives, layouts or color schemes. iContact will test a small percentage of your contact list to determine what content works best. You can choose which portion of your audience is tested. 

Automation

iContact's email marketing automation lets you send a series of messages to recipients based on different conditions, such as where the customer is in your sales pipeline. iContact has a welcome email series consisting of several different automated emails that are designed to make a positive impression on customers, increase click-through rates and build brand loyalty. iContact's automation features are especially convenient because you can create these campaigns for different types of customers and not worry about it further. You have control over when your campaign emails are sent. The platform is easy to navigate, and you can create entire campaigns in minutes. If you're new to automated marketing and are not sure where to start, iContact offers a package where they help you strategize your campaign. 

Email Designer

 iContact has multiple tools that make designing emails easy, even if you've never worked in a graphic design program. With iContact's drag-and-drop email editor, you can build professional and interactive emails in minutes. You can choose from themes, saved email templates, create an HTML message or make a plain text email. For those with coding expertise, the HTML builder lets you code your own custom emails. iContact's responsive templates are designed for all devices, including both desktop and mobile. While you're editing your email, you can easily switch back and forth between desktop and mobile views to see what your email looks like. Before sending your email, you can use iContact's spam check to test your message before sending out a single email. iContact's email creator also has spellcheck and can send test emails. 

List Building

List building and audience segmentation is a crucial part of an email marketing solution. An email list management tool allows you to send relevant and personalized emails to subscribers at the right time. With iContact, you can create lists based on conditions, such as demographics, geography, social activity and website behavior. You also can create custom fields to include information like birthdays, sign-up anniversary date or other characteristics. 

Subscriber Management

iContact's subscriber management tools make it easy to manage your subscribers. You can easily create and embed sign-up forms on your website, identify and engage with important contacts, and ensure your business is keeping a current, accurate subscriber list. 

Tracking Email Marketing Analytics

After you send your emails, iContact offers detailed information, including the open rate, real-time tracking, the bounce rate, the number of people who clicked on links in the email, how many people unsubscribed from your list, what device contacts used to view the email, email deliverability and social engagement. This information is compiled into helpful, easy-to-understand graphics. 

Segmentation

iContact allows you to segment your contact lists based on several criteria, including behavior, gender, age and more, and can even use data collected from your emails to create segmented marketing campaigns. iContact will automatically collect and organize data across any fields you designate, making it easy to send targeted emails.

Pros

There are a variety of positives to using iContact. Its benefits include:

  • Ease of use: Everything about iContact is incredibly easy to locate and use. Most of the platform's tools have drag-and-drop features that make editing and adding pictures or contacts a breeze. Its email creator provides step-by-step directions along with easy tools to check the deliverability of emails and a preview of how emails will look in people's inboxes.

  • A help button: If you're ever not sure how to do something in the platform, iContact's help button directs you to a page with videos and video tutorials. There is also a portal designed for answering questions – you'll find online lessons about how to add subscribers, managing contacts, creating and sending messages, as well as topics on reporting, billing, automation, deliverability, integrations, and social media.

  • Comprehensive features: iContact's comprehensive features make it easy to create successful and professional-looking email marketing campaigns in minutes. We recommend that you take advantage of the free trial; experiment with creating and sending email campaigns, and if you're ready to sign up, there is a range of plans that suit the number of contacts you have and your budget.

  • Intuitive platform: iContact's email creator is perfect for business marketers at all skill levels. If you're experienced with coding, you can create emails using your own HTML code, or if you don't have any coding or design experience, use one of iContact's design templates. You can then fine-tune your email using the drag-and-drop editor to include your own pictures, logos and to match the color scheme with your brand colors. 

Cons

While there is a lot to like about iContact, there are a few things to consider before signing up for the service, including:

  • No free version: iContact has a free trial, but it doesn't offer a free version of its software. Most other service providers we evaluated offer a free version, which is especially helpful for startups and very small businesses that have a small number of contacts and don't require intricate features – a simple, straightforward email suffices.

  • No automation for the Base plan: Another downside of iContact is that while it has strong automation journeys or workflows, many are only available in the Pro platform, which is considerably more expensive, which puts it out of reach for most small businesses.

  • Deliverability with Gmail: In testing emails we created using iContact, when we sent our test email to a Gmail account, it appeared in the promotions tab. And while the email was sent to the correct inbox, it could be missed if the user doesn't check the promotions tab. We sent the email from a personal email address – not a business email – which is less credible than an email sent with a company or business domain.

Customer Support

iContact has excellent customer service. When we contacted representatives through live chat, we were quickly connected with a courteous, knowledgeable rep who answered our questions. At no time did we feel any pressure to sign up for the service.

After we created a free trial, a representative contacted us, offering to answer any questions we had. iContact support is available through live chat, by phone and via email. In addition, as mentioned above, every paid account is assigned a CSM who provides personal support through onboarding, training and troubleshooting. The CSM can also provide feedback on your marketing strategy.

iContact

iContact

The Best Email Marketing Services and Survey Software of 2020

The Verdict

iContact is our choice for best email marketing software overall. It offers comprehensive features and plans for small businesses, which make creating successful email marketing campaigns easy.

Kiely is a staff writer based in New York City. She worked as a marketing copywriter after graduating with her bachelor’s in English from Miami University (OH) and is now embracing her hipster side as a new resident of Brooklyn. You can reach her on Twitter or by email.