Constant Contact Kicks It Up a Notch

Constant Contact has rolled out enhancements to its platform, beefing up functionality in its reporting tools, customer tracking and reporting, and mobility options, as well as in a library tool designed to make storing and using content easier for users.

constantcontact mobile

The upgrades are a culmination of a lot of effort to develop features that Constant Contact sees the market adopting, said Ken Surdan, senior vice president of product.

“What we have built is a customer-centric contact management platform that will enable users to have a much more holistic view of what is going on with their customers,” he told CRM Buyer.

Better Tracking and Reporting

New tools give users greater flexibility in tagging customers and then sending content to them based on those tags, Surdan explained.

“For example, you could tag a customer file to say ‘Ken is a great product VP and gives a great quote,’ and then the next time you are developing a marketing campaign aimed at customers with those attributes, you can easily call up that record,” he said.

“So instead of being limited with standard data elements, you can create your own based on your needs and customer base,” added Surdan.

The platform also has better customer tracking and more visibility for users. Suppose a company held an event for “great product VPs” and then wanted to send thank you emails to the attendees, with a separate note to those “who give great quotes.” The system now allows users to do that with just a few clicks, he explained.

Those features are supported by the enhanced reporting capabilities in the platform, although Surdan notes that in this case, “that functionality has been embedded throughout the suite. We didn’t want it to feel like a separate function; instead we worked to include it throughout the platform.”

Underlying all of this is a new user interface that has streamlined Constant Contact’s screens and work processes, he said. “It is now easier to navigate. The data is easier to see and access. We put a lot of work [into] increasing the quality of that experience.”

The Mobile Piece

Constant Contact also rolled out new mobile functionality along with the platform upgrade. The company made its templates mobile-friendly so a user could send out a campaign — creating it from start to finish using the device — or update a piece of content on the fly, Surdan said.

“We have invested significantly in the mobile space. We have has also extended reporting into our iOS and Android releases, as well,” he noted.

MyLibrary Expansion

Constant Contact also enhanced its MyLibrary tool set — a feature that provides storage space for customers’ images and documents used in marketing campaigns.

“We completely revamped it to make it easier to retrieve content from other sources using our tools. There are drag-and-drop tools from the desktop,” Surdan pointed out, “and we also created APIs that allow users to upload content from Facebook and other networks.”

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

1 Comment

  • Constant Contact’s users don’t seem to share the opinions of its management. The "Contacts" system is nearly universally condemned in user forums. You can see hundreds of customer comments in the Feedback section of Constant’s "community" web site (you have to be a user to sign in; it’s hard to find the "New Ideas" page, but very worth the effort). The community forums show strong and near-universal disapproval of the new Contacts system. Customers complain loudly about the reporting tools being much less useful now, rather than having increased functionality. Customers say that reporting capabilities are greatly diminished, and that the new User Interface is confusing and unnecessarily complex, certainly not "easier to navigate." Importantly, they say (and I have experienced) that routine operations that formerly were accomplished in seconds now take minutes or hours to complete. You can, of course, see the problems first-hand by using the new Contacts system yourself. They are huge, and very easily seen by knowledgeable experienced users.

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