Email marketing is a great strategy to gain website traffic, promote events and stay connected with your audience. iContact is a platform that enables you to do all of this as well as monitor and analyze your progress. Getting started with any platform can be a challenge but we have put together a step-by-step helping guide on how to use iContact so you can start improving your connections with your clients.
- Go to http://www.icontact.com/ and log in.
- In the the menu click “Email”
- Click “Create a Message” which is located in the My Messages area
- Click “Use Message Building”
- A list of items will come up along with a grid of templates.
- The editor will open.
- Customize your newsletter
- Click Proceed to Send
- Select the lists you want to send email to.
- Select if you wish to share newsletter to social media, and Click Proceed to Send.
For our clients: Choose the Custom Template titled we have created for you. it will probably be the first and will be the only one with a “Delete” button beneath it. DO NOT DELETE THE TEMPLATE. We have created a header and a footer that you can keep as is and never have to edit.
For general users: Select your desired template from those provided, or start from scratch.
How to Create a Newsletter
Customizing your newsletter is as easy as composing an email to a friend. Here are some tips to get you started.
- To change the image simple click the image so it becomes highlighted.
- Click “Image” in the editor menu. (The menu will slide open)
- Click the “insert” arrow.
- Click upload image.
- Select an image from your computer.
- The image should now be updated.
- To change header text or body text, simply select the box that it is nested in.
- Triple click the text or manually highlight it.
- Start typing.
Linking text and objects:
- Highlight text/image
- Click the “Text” tab in the editor (the tab will slide open)
- With the text/image highlighted, select the button that has the link icon (when you hover, it shows “insert link”)
- Enter URL in the field and press “ok”
Managing Contacts and Lists on iContact
When you login to your iContact you can create, manage, and search your contacts.
Create a contact list
- In the horizontal menu, select Contact
- In the “My list” area click Create a List
- Assign list a name and description
- Enter your public list label, and remember that your recipients may see it.
- Press Save
Add welcome message to lists
- You can create a welcome message for every list you make by clicking Contacts from the horizontal menu.
- Click My lists
- Click Add Welcome Message in the row of the desired list located in the “Welcome Message” column
- Go through the steps of creating an email as mentioned above.
Add subscribers to lists
- Add subscribers to any list by clicking Contacts from the horizontal menu.
- Click My lists
- Click the Add button of the desired list row, located in the the “Subscribers” column.
- You can upload contacts from a .csv file, also known as Comma Separated Values file. You can also enter contacts one by one, and finally you can use the copy and paste function.
- For a large number of contacts, or contacts that contain a lot of information (names, birthdays, home addresses etc) we recommend using the .csv option.
- Select your choice of adding contacts.
- Make sure that the lists (or lists) you want the contact to belong to are selected.
- Go through the process that of your selected method and select Save Contact/ Upload Contacts
Understanding iContact Reports
Once you are logged in, select Reports from the horizontal menu to get to your reports and analyze your performance. You will see your last sent email. Beneath is a list of the last 4-5 emails. You may click view all sent messages to see full history.
Simply click the email you want to analyze.
You can see the total number of contacts the email has been sent, opened, bounced, and clicked. You can view the no infos, unsubscribers, forwards and complains as well as the lists and segments that email has been sent to. You can check out the click report and social media sources.
iContact Statistics and Terms to Understand
Open - Emails that have been opened. (includes number of contacts and number of opens)
Open rates will vary from industry to industry, but generally speaking 10% is on the lower end and 30% is a good response. If your emails are receiving less that 10% open rate, you should re-think your email marketing strategy and further examine the lists of where you send your content. The Open metric is one of the most important tools to look at and analyze.
Bounced - Contacts that did not receive the email because their address was unreachable.
The average bounce rate is about 4.1%
No Info - The number of contacts who neither registered a bounce nor an open.
Some of these contacts might have opened your email. However, they will appear as No Info instead of Opened if they have images disabled in their email client or have not clicked a link in the HTML version of the email.
Clicked - Number of clicks on links within the email. (includes number of contacts and number of clicks)
This metric is the best indicator to how well your contacts responded to your email content. Currently the average is 3.5%
Unsubscribed - Number of contacts who have removed themselves from the mailing list
Forwarded - Number of times a message has been forwarded.
Complained - Number of times the email has reported as spam by contacts.
Social Impact - Results of the message from social media platforms.
These numbers are greatly impacted by how active a user is on social media. However emails with social sharing buttons get 158% more clicks then emails without them.
Click Report - Statistics that show the links within an email and the amount of clicks they received.
Generally the link that get the most amounts of clicks are located in the center of the email, generally below the header or in the first clock area.