What users are saying about

Adestra

7 Ratings

iContact

66 Ratings

Adestra

7 Ratings
Score 6.8 out of 101

iContact

66 Ratings
Score 7.4 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Adestra

Small businesses with even smaller marketing budgets and no email marketing experience would be better off selecting a lower-end email marketing provider. However, Adestra will provide a growing company with every email marketing tool along the way.
Joi Brooks profile photo

iContact

iContact provides easy-to-use templates for those who are not familiar with HTML coding or advanced users can utilize the Message Coder to truly customize email marketing campaigns. Things to consider are certainly the purpose of the email marketing piece, target audience (contacts can be categorized in iContact), level of customer service (instant messaging with an actual representative is quick and painless), storage capacity (better to upgrade if in need of many images) and marketing needs (tracking reports can narrow down the number of emails clicked, opened, bounced, etc.).
Zeenath Haniff profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Email & Online Marketing

Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.5
WYSIWYG email editor
Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.0
Dynamic content
Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.5
Ability to test dynamic content
Adestra
10.0
iContact
7.7
Landing pages
Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.0
A/B testing
Adestra
10.0
iContact
9.7
Email deliverability
Adestra
10.0
iContact
9.4
List management
Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.8
Triggered drip sequences
Adestra
10.0
iContact
7.3
Mobile optimization
Adestra
iContact
9.4

Reporting & Analytics

Adestra
10.0
iContact
9.3
Dashboards
Adestra
10.0
iContact
8.8
Standard reports
Adestra
10.0
iContact
9.0
Custom reports
Adestra
iContact
10.0

Pros

  • Adestra's "dynamic" list allows users to consolidate multiple lists in combination with data filters and exclusion lists. This implements segmentation and is a powerful marketing tool.
  • Adestra's MessageFocus API integration provides developer-tools for list, campaign or transactional automated requirements.
  • Campaigns can be sorted into project folders. This allows marketers to group campaigns together for management or reporting requirements. Moving or copying campaigns from one project to another is a simple process.
  • Data downloads via Reporting is available at every level, from overview to individual KPI.
  • Creating "core" tables helps marketers develop lists with similar attributes. Whether a list has many fields or simply the one required email address field, a "core" table helps to quickly map data labels from spreadsheet to online database. Creating data labels on the fly is a simple process, as well. The "core" table also groups similar contacts into one core database.
  • Any list can be quickly "emptied" for to manage refreshed data. The contacts within the "emptied" list would still be members of the "core" table and so the process does not negatively impact reporting.
  • Unsubscribes can be managed in one list (as a default) or individual lists. Creating individual unsubscribe lists -- dependent on business requirements -- would allow for a preference center, whereby recipients could be given a choice as to which campaigns they receive.
  • The Form tool creates signup forms, simple surveys and landing pages. These can be hosted via Adestra or otherwise on the web. The tool provides for branding and proprietary cascading stylesheets, with a number of actions available through a drag-and-drop interface.
Joi Brooks profile photo
  • Their deliverability was very good, our bounce rate averaged less than 2% and open rates were better than the email provider we moved to after we left iContact.
  • The user interface was relatively simple and easy to use, with only a couple exceptions it's very intuitive.
  • They have a large selection of templates to choose from, both completely blank and themed with graphics. Example: want to send a 4th of July themed email? Go into the email templates and they'll have several with fireworks and flags decorating the background and/or borders, all you have to do is plug in your main content and not worry about spending time "decorating" the email.
  • The amount of free storage they provide for hosting the images in your email is better than some of the others out there so if you need to store a lot of images for your emails it's easy to do within iContact and avoid using a third party hosting service, which complicates the email building process.
Richard Rae profile photo

Cons

  • As of this writing, there are at least 3 different editors available (a drag-and-drop, a WYSIWYG and HTML). However, only a small template library is available if requested through support. Those expecting to find ready-built templates for re-branding would find them through the third-party EDM Designer drag-and-drop editor.
Joi Brooks profile photo
  • Very weak reporting. Example: they calculate click through rates based off of the number of emails you send, not off the number of people who opened the email and actually saw the links in your email. Because of this a poor open rate results in a poor click through rate, even if 100% of the people who read your email clicked on your link. If you're not aware how they're calculating this it could lead you to make some very poor decisions based on their misleading stats.
  • There is no automated A/B testing feature. You have to export your list, segment it in a spreadsheet, label each segment, then upload the segments, now you have the lists for the test emails and the main segment for the winner. Next you create the two versions of the email and send them. After you have collected enough data you have to examine the stats and choose a winner, then send it to your main segment. Both of the other email providers I've tired since have an automated A/B testing feature, create the test emails, the software segments your list, sends the test, waits for the data to come in, then sends the winner out to the remainder of your list. While they do have limitations, it's far easier than iContact.
  • They don't have any built in rendering or testing mechanism to see how your emails will look in Gmail vs.Yahoo, or a mobile device. If you want to do this you either have to use a third party service that you upload or send the email to or you can create various email accounts and send test emails to each, then log into each account to see how your email is displayed.
Richard Rae profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
iContact3.4
Based on 19 answers
After 4 years of using iContact we finally cut the cord. It was hard to justify staying with them when it seemed like they had some of the most outdated software in the industry, some of the worst deliverability, and were in general extremely lacking in customization. They are a decent ESP for a great price point, so if that is your main concern it may be worth it, but if you want to have your emails you are paying for hit inboxes (not spam folders) then look into someone else that guarantees great deliverability.
Mark Tuttle profile photo

Usability

Adestra9.0
Based on 1 answer
I have been self-trained on different ESPs for over 10 years, so my experience isn't comparable to most users. However, I've trained people on various email marketing platforms, and with some training, clients have a positive user-experience with Adestra.
Joi Brooks profile photo
iContact8.0
Based on 6 answers
very easy to use with just basic knowledge
Matthew Crandall profile photo

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
iContact9.0
Based on 1 answer
iContact is regularly up and running. Only once has it been unavailable for maintenance, which is to be expected and even desired for optimal performance when needed.
Zeenath Haniff profile photo

Support

Adestra10.0
Based on 1 answer
I have had campaign related issues solved very quickly. When there are technical issues, that involve more than one departmental, it may involve a longer turn-around and management.
Joi Brooks profile photo
iContact9.0
Based on 8 answers
she was nice, but could not resolve formatting issue you guys have with Outlook.
Kevin Fritz profile photo

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
iContact8.5
Based on 2 answers
The program was implemented before I began with the company, but the renewal process was rather simple.
Zeenath Haniff profile photo

Alternatives Considered

For medium and large sized businesses, Adestra competes well with dotMailer. While many of the functions are available through either provider, creating campaigns, managing lists and reviewing metrics are somewhat different.As of this writing, dotMailer's drag-and-drop editor dominates that platform and performs well for low-end users with little-to-no HTML experience. Even high-end users will appreciate how quickly campaigns can be built via the drag-and-drop editor. While Adestra utilizes the EDM Designer drag-and-drop, the third-party functionality is not completely cohesive and lack of a template library gives dotMailer a bit of an advantage.
Joi Brooks profile photo
I have personally used MailChimp and Constant Contact. Plus, a back-end WordPress plug-in that I've since forgotten the name of as well as Active.com's email platform.
No photo available

Scalability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
iContact7.0
Based on 1 answer
iContact stays the same with the number of users added or taken away. It certainly remains reliable despite increased usage, and so, can be considered scaleable in that aspect.
Zeenath Haniff profile photo

Return on Investment

  • For companies that focus on goals and analytics, Adestra provides all the necessary tools.
Joi Brooks profile photo
  • I was able to be a one person marketing machine in many cases and touch many contacts way more effciently
  • The ROI was excellent and it increased the value of our lists
  • Allowed me to direct marketing to where it was most effective and target users with precision
David A Taylor profile photo

Pricing Details

Adestra

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
Additional Pricing Details

iContact

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details