Friday, April 25, 2008

Compare Vertical Response vs Constant Contact for Email Newsletters

Vertical Response is the winner if the two are compared. Using Vertical Response after using Constant Contact is like a fresh summer day. Vertical Response vs Constant Contact lets you breathe easy while doing formerly complicated emailing procedures.

To Compare: Vertical Response vs Constant Contact:

Designing a custom newsletter design
Hands down, VerticalResponse. They offer a super easy editing canvas, where you can access the code, easily create tables, and more. Last I checked, Constant Contact did not offer an editing canvas, so you needed to already have your HTML built in another content editor, and paste it into their HTML area. That, or you have to be a Super Coder and be able to visualize what your code looks like as you type it up, which is a series of letters strung together. Good luck.

Or, you can pay Vertical Response or Constant Contact to build your design. But, if you are a do-it-yourself coder, Vertical Response provides the easiest platform to work on.

Reports and Stats - tracking click throughs
Both Vertical Response and Constant Contact give you access to which links were clicked on. Vertical Response breaks it down so that you can see how many clicks happened on which images as well as text. In order to know which image is which, you'll have to be familiar with what the URL is. The report gives you the actual number of clicks, plus the overall percentage compared to the rest of the links in the email. The list of links is presented in a chronological link list. Could Vertical Response develop something more visual? Maybe they will! But right now they are busy unveiling surveys.

Newsletter Design Templates
I tend to stay away from stock Templates. Customizing templates at Constant Contact could get messy, and be possibly easy to break, or corrupt, requiring you to build it all over again. If you are using a Constant Contact template as is, with no altering, you'll be fine. Both email companies offer programming services to create a custom newsletter template for your brand, where you can submit a design to them and they will build it for a fee. If you have used Vertical Response templates, and tweaked them, please chime in below.

Opt-in Sign Up Forms
A cinch with Vertical Response to make a straightforward, not too ugly email opt-in form. However, I've custom designed my own sign up boxes. See the newsletter signup form at Katie James and at Mugi Pottery. However, the generic opt in form design is not to shabby. (Sorry Vertical Response...I need to put the link back into you on those pages!)

Because the Vertical Response code for the email sign up form is so easy to work with, I was able to copy and paste it into a Facebook Page! Here are the details: how to put an html box on your Facebook Page.

Constant Contact has offered the ability to send surveys for a long time. Vertical Response has just released their own survey service. I have not tried it yet. Have you? If you have experience with the survey tool at either Vertical Response or Constant Contact, please chime in below in the comments.

Yes, Constant Contact beats Vertical Response for cost (maybe, unless you're a non-profit). Constant Contact offers a monthly service, where you can pay $15 for a list size of up to 500, for example. Monthly cost goes up from there. Hopefully Vertical Response will go this route (because more of my clients would go with them). Either way, I personally do pay the per email price with Vertical Response because sending a successful newsletter is that much easier and enlightening with Vertical Response. If you are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, they have special pricing. And 501 (c) 3 non-profits can even get up to 10,000 free emails a month!

So what are you going to do now? Sign up to send campaigns with VerticalResponse. So easy.


Anonymous said...

How about deliverability? Do they allow for a private IP address to protect my reputation?

Laine said...

Hi there,
I have a trial account with Vertical Response and just tried to create a test email. However, I had a heck of a time even with one of their templates. I couldn't resize or move the photo I wanted to insert, so I just deleted it. How much html do you need to know in order to make your emails/newsletters look decent?


Mista said...

Hey Laine,
While I don't work with their templates, I do work with their Canvas area, so that I'm working with their WYSIWYG editor. Love it. I do know a bit of code, so all I really use is to create tables (which they have a push button for), float an image or table to the right or left, and those are really the only two main HTML things I use. Otherwise, you can make your own. But use the table button to maybe give your newsletter design some dimension.

Good luck.

Rosie said...

Constant Contact has a great "canvas." Were you using the old interface? The new templates are great. I intend to check out Vertical Response as well. See this other review (not by me) for comparison of even more email services.

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