Book Review: The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing

I love Monty Python’s skit on spam and I’m sure that I speak for all of us when I say NO SPAM PLEASE – especially the email kind! Yet, email continues to be the primary way that we communicate with each other and with our customers because it’s cost effective and efficient.

I currently have several clients that are considering using email marketing as a strategy and this is what prompted my curiosity in the new book “The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing” by Eric Groves. It must have been fate because while I was making plans to purchase the book, Constant Contact sent me a copy for review.

Constant Contact Guide to Email MarketingYou may already have heard of Constant Contact. They are one of the most popular providers of email marketing services. Hundreds of thousands of businesses rely on Constant Contact for technology, support and education to promote their products and services via email. I’ve referred them to clients for years because they offer just the right balance between cost, ease of use and having a great reputation for getting your email through to your intended recipient. In other words, no one is better qualified to put together a book on how to successfully manage your email marketing campaign.

Constant Contact Makes a Brilliant Branding Move

I read and review a lot of books and can’t recall the last time I’ve actually read a book that was put out by an organization and written by one of its employees, Eric Groves, Senior Vice President, Global Market Development. I think it’s a brilliant branding move. This book further cements Constant Contact as a credible and experienced resource.

The book I received is a hard-back. This is a good thing because you’re going to want a sturdy copy since it’s going to get a lot of use as you implement your marketing campaign.  🙂

Here is the bulleted list from the inside cover of what is inside:

  • Ten email pitfalls that will get your business in trouble
  • Ten things your customers expect you to do
  • How to reap the “soft benefits” of email marketing
  • How to use email in combination with other marketing efforts
  • How to build an email list that is valuable and effective
  • How four types of permissions can make or break your strategy
  • How to create highly impressionable content
  • How to choose an effective, professional email format
  • How to ensure your emails are delivered, opened and read
  • How to overcome email filters and other delivery challenges

How to Read the Book

This is a book you’ll want to pick up and read all the way through first. Eric Groves’ writing style is easy and direct. It’s almost as if the book is a friendly how-to manual peppered with “insider advice” that you’ll want to listen to because it was gained through years of learning experiences.

The first four chapters are introductory in nature:

  • The 40 “Know It or Blow It” rules of Email Marketing
  • The Power of Email Relationships
  • Making Money: The Economics of Email
  • The Benefits of Permission-Based Email Marketing.

Then chapter 5 starts the “how-to” portion of the book. The rest of the 14 chapters are ones that you can reference depending on where you are trying to improve. Here are just a few chapters that grabbed my attention:

  • Building a Quality Email List
  • Making Introductions: Subject Lines, From Lines, and Frequency
  • Email Filters and Other Delivery Challenges
  • Collecting More Feedback with Surveys

What The Guide to Email Marketing is Really Saying

The underlying message I got out of the book is that YOU are ultimately responsible for the success of your email marketing; not your email marketing service provider. In reading the book, I got this impression that Constant Contact decided to write this book after watching so many businesses hurt themselves and their marketing efforts by “doing it wrong.”

My recommendation for everyone is to get this book and literally follow it page by page as you implement your email marketing campaign. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you think your process is better, challenge it by following Constant Contact’s process and see if your stats improve.

This is the perfect time to pick up Constant Contact’s Guide to Email Marketing. Start fresh and start strong with a campaign that shows you in the best light for your customers and prospects.


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

11 Reactions
  1. Ivana: I have to reread your post after I have stopped laughing… 😉 Do you know that that the Monty Python gang recently had a gathering and talked about 40 years of crazy British humo(u)r?! 😉

  2. @Martin – I am a huge fan of Monty Python – in fact, I was tempted to embed the video, but I didn’t want to take away from the book review. But I laughed out loud watching that again.

  3. Personally, I think that email marketing is under-rated. If done right, I think that it can be a very personal and effective way of communicating with those individuals that ultimately become loyal fans and/or customers. Needless to say, I’d love to add this book to my reading list…

  4. I think I read somewhere that patrons who receive an e-news letter are 60% more loyal to a restaurant. Knowing more about e-mail marketing is an essential tool.

  5. Thank you so much, Ivana. Constant Contact seems to set the standard in many ways.

    I feel that email marketing will be huge this year, and this book sounds like a must-have.

    The Franchise King

  6. Thanks for the article.
    I use Constant Contact for my sales training newsletter. Frankly, I’m disappointed with the results. Perhaps I can now get some useful information to turn it around.
    Thanks Again!

  7. Very good article, lots of marketing people still fail to realize the true potential of email marketing and the tail effect.

    Email marketing is more and more science and less art