Hello again, Network Creators!
Do you send out email newsletters or other types of communications that need an extra level of polish? If so, you will be happy to hear about our new partnership with the popular Web-based email marketing provider Constant Contact.
We’ve just released a new Ning Extension that integrates Constant Contact to enable you to automatically add new members who join your network to a specific list in your Constant Contact account. It’s opt-in friendly, too. You can even create a special profile question to let new members opt in to your Constant Contact list. You can continue to use your Ning Network to attract new customers, evangelists, and fans and build up a thriving community. What’s great about this new extension is that it will seamlessly maintain an updated Constant Contact list, which lets you focus on sending out some sweet-looking email newsletters.
The new Constant Contact Extension is live and available for all Ning Plus and Pro customers. You’ll find it in the Extensions section of your dashboard.
If you’re already a Constant Contact customer, you can quickly and easily connect your existing account and upload your members’ contact information.
If you’re not currently a Constant Contact customer, you may want to check out their offers. Their pricing is pretty attractive, with plans starting at $15/month that include an unlimited number of messages. They offer a 60-day free trial that provides most of the functionality of a full subscription, which is a great way to try it out.
We’re very excited about this new Ning Extension, partly because a number of Network Creators have requested it, but more importantly because we think it will be an excellent tool for Network Creators who may not have considered all they can accomplish with a professional-grade email marketing service like Constant Contact.
These kinds of newsletter distribution tools are pretty powerful if you need to reach people on a regular basis and need well-designed templates. They also provide analytics information. More here if you're interested. As Marshall notes, they're not for everyone, but they're pretty useful if you're doing a lot of marketing or need to step up your marketing efforts.
Email services like this provide online list maintenance in a database, handle all subscriptions and unsubscriptions, provide professional and custom email templates, and comply with all spam laws. But you're right we can mail our subscribers for nothing. What about non-subscribers?
Depending on your community, I'd suggest considering what most websites do. Can you come up with a meaningful newsletter, say monthly, for prospects who don't join? Then take subscriptions and maintain contact. VERY effective for the websites I design and manage, but for an online community will likely depend on who your members and prospects are.
Plus, Constant Contact is the last place I would send anybody. (Professionals DO disagree!) MailChimp.com is totally free up to 1000 emails per month, has very beginner-friendly help, and you could just try a newsletter subscription for a few months, at no cost.
Thanks for this, Mike. I have a nonprofit social network on Ning and while I have been thinking I need to do a newsletter for my members, it hadn't occurred to me that it would be great to have a monthly newsletter for those who donate to our Grant Account but don't join the network. So smart. Also appreciate the pointer re MailChimp as I am trying to keep our costs as low as possible. Very grateful you took the time to write.
Thanks, Anna. Love your website. One other factor may apply to you. You can maintain multiple "groups" in the email database. Bad example but $5 donor and $25+ donors -- a little special always helps, as I'm sure you know. You MIGHT consider a separate "reward" newsletter for donors above a certain level.
I am a fan of MailChimp.com too and was disappointed to read about Ning's partnership with CC. Word is that MC is the shiznit for email services. My question is, "When is Ning going to partner with MailChimp.com?"
Hi, Leilani. You may want to check out more of this discussion. We don't have a partnership planned with them right now, but if that changes, we'll definitely let you know.
15$/month for 500 contacts max... five hundred members???
I'd love to know how many of us will use this functonality in 3 months period ;-)
Just saw that CC offer event marketing & online survey also!!!
As we are talking here about integration :
If I conduct an online survey thru CC on our network :
1/ Our members are log in,
2/ do they need to full fill again their email, name,... or is it "integrated" to the survey???
The idea is :
"As you're already a member & you're logged in your network : YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN IN AGAIN"
To be honest, I am not sure how their surveys work. I don't think they would require your members to have a Constant Contact "account" if that is what you mean. My assumption is that they match your responders to your list via custom URL links, but again, I haven't dug that deeply into their surveys. But I can personally speak highly of their email newsletter capabilities.
hello Eric - if the members are registered in my network and I send them broadcast message this message is not spam - but dont they somehow confirm also ConstantContact mail-server ? Is this just for uploading mail contacts ? for that we can use export to CSV and than import it in ConstantContact. Or am I missing something ?
Yes, if you use Constant Contact, this extension automates what would have been a manual process of exporting your members via CSV and then pasting in new members; it also adds name data to the Constant Contact list.