I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of online chatter about Constant Contact’s recent OneCon 2015 Conference. OneCon 2015 is a yearly conference that Constant Contact holds for their business partners. I was one of the lucky people to be invited to the conference and thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned way more than I ever thought I would in that short period of time.
Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact has it “going on.” She is a very approachable, down to earth leader who is constantly upgrading products. I met with her and several of her leaders during the conference and soon realized she knows how to pick leaders too. After spending several days at the Constant Contact conference I believe the company is being run by some of the most intelligent people in the country.
As most conferences go there was a lot of craziness going on. There were new cool tools and some awesome upgrades to Constant Contact’s arsenal of small business owner tools. Each upgrade has given the small business owner (SBO) more power and greater reach with their marketing efforts than ever before. Constant Contact recently started working with Facebook ads to help the small business in the confusing landscape of PPC marketing. Way to GO CC!
I tried to get around to see all the products, but I simply ran out of time. I was thoroughly impressed with the products I did get to see and the presenters were top notch and very knowledgeable. There were also some well-known vendors at the conference including Lead Pages and Wordstream.
The tough part for me at any conference was finding time to do everything; attend the shows, learn about new products, or collaborate (remember last month’s article “Be a Collaboration Sensation”?). Of course I did all the above and then some. Of the many products I was shown, there are several I believe are the most powerful to the SBO or marketing in general. .
Automating Your Email Marketing: At one time auto responders were very seldom used when it came to marketing a business, but Constant Contact sees the need and has heeded the call. First off, auto responders allow you to familiarize your audience with your company and start building a relationship without having to initially make physical contact. You can also familiarize the reader with your product and/or service without having to do anything more than upload a person’s email address. Constant Contact has taken their little used auto responder and turned it into a superstar for the SBO. Here’s one idea of how to use an auto responder.
Each email list you have in your Constant Contact account can now have its own auto responder series attached to it. For the SBO that means that email addresses put into a prospect list can now receive a different set of emails than people added to a new client list. This allows the SBO to set up one list for their website sign-ups, one list for their Facebook, one list for the bottom of their email, etc. and each list has a different message for its recipients.
Sign-Up Tools: This is a fantastic tool that Constant Contact keeps making better and better. Sign-Up Tools is Constant Contact’s way of helping you get people to sign up for your email lists. This is a very powerful tool that can automate a portion of your sign-ups. Here’s how it works.
You can create separate sign up forms within Constant Contact. There can be a different form on different sites (website, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, personal email). The beauty of separate sign up forms is you can link the sign up form to the auto responder series you set up for your website, or the series you set up for your Facebook or the bottom of your email. You can use this tool to monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns based upon new sign ups. With little guidance, this functionality can easily fits into the SBO’s overall marketing strategy. Constant Contact made a huge stride with the sign-up form function.
You will also notice in the right column of the Sign-Up Tools menu there is a Facebook Sign-Up Form and Text to sign-up function. Facebook Sign-Up Form will add a newsletter sign-up form to your Facebook Page. It’s easy and takes less than a minute to set up. Text to sign-up allows the SBO to offer the ability to sign up for an email list via a text. It’s an awesome feature.
New Features - Email Marketing- Social Sharing: Constant Contact rolled out 2 incredible email marketing features; Social Sharing and Best Time to Send. Social Sharing gives the user the ability to share their email with their social media network. It is very easy to use and is the ultimate in repurposing content. Why not share your newsletter with your social network? Don’t forget to add the “Join My Mailing List” button.
“Next Best Time” to send is a good guide if you are not sure when is the best time for you to reach your audience. This information is based upon empirical data over a broad spectrum of businesses in your genre so occasionally validate this function against your other marketing analytics. As you progress with learning email marketing you will find, through your own analysis, the best time to reach your audience.
The craziness at this conference was all the great knowledge connecting with old friends, building collaborative relationships and learning how to better serve small businesses everywhere. OneCon 2015 was an awesome experience. If you like this article please share it an leave a comment. In the meantime…..