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Starting an Online Community

Frequent Visitor

Starting an Online Community

Currently, we're using Constant Contact to send a bi-monthly newsletter to the customer base we've grown through a pretty successful marketing campaign.  Now we're interested in starting an online community, much like this one, to help solidify and maintain customer loyalty.  The community would include a blog, eNewsletter presence, message boards/forums and social media and email sign-up feature.


Can Constant Contact help with that, or are there other low-cost CRM tools available?

Honored Contributor

Re: Starting an Online Community

Hi Adrian,


I wanted to jump in here and offer what I know.  We do not offer a Community platform.  We use Lithium to host our Community.  Lithium is more on an enterprise level and that may not be cost-effective for your business.  The only community based site I can think of that may be good for you off the top of my head is Ning.  I would look into them for more information.


Does anyone else have a Community platform that they recommend?

Honored Contributor

Re: Starting an Online Community

I've run some very large online communities for more  13 years.  My current project has over 100,000 members.

It can be a lot of work and needs to be thought through well before you begin.


There are many that are free and if you are starting a small community I would suggest that route.

Here is a site that is a comprehensive list of what's available.


Tony Schaefer
Constant Contact Solution Provider


Regular Advisor

Re: Starting an Online Community

We have a popular chat forum and use Vbulletin software.  I highly recommend it as it's very user-friendly and there are lotsof extensions for it. 

Mike Donovan
New Member

Re: Starting an Online Community

Ning provides some user-friendly setup that is utilized by Writer's Digest, Open mic USA and several other similar organizations.  Its add-ons are cool, too.  It also offers facebook, Twitter and app integration.