Email marketing still remains one of the most effective ways of reaching your customers even in today’s world of social media and PPC. While social media marketing and PPC both have their benefits, email marketing is unique in the fact that it offers an almost unmatched ROI and also adds a personal touch to your communications.
If you’re getting started with email marketing, there are a number of options for you to choose from today. It can be a tough choice as most of the tools available today provide awesome features and are highly competitive.
In this review, you can find everything you need to know about two of the most widely used email marketing tools out there – Constant Contact and MailChimp. Let’s find out which one is the better email marketing tool for you!
TLDR; MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools out there! Constant Contact, on the other hand, isn’t as popular, the major reason is cause they don’t spend as much on advertising as MailChimp does and also the fact that they have no “free” plan.
- If you run a small email list <2000 emails and email marketing isn’t a pillar of your business, then MailChimp is a pretty good deal.
- However, if you’re looking for an email marketing tool that’ll scale with you and your business needs. I’d recommend using Constant Contact.
Constant Contact vs MailChimp
Constant Contact’s email marketing plans start at $20/month (and comes around to $65/month for an email list of 5000 people) and have one of the highest deliverability rates in the email marketing space.
MailChimp, on the other hand, has a free plan that allows you to have an email list of 2000 people. However, MailChimp costs around $75/month for an email list of around 5000 people making it a good option for a small email list, but not worth it for a growing business.
Before we jump into the different important aspects of Constant Contact and MailChimp like the features they offer, how easy they are to use, pros and cons, customer support, pricing, and more, let’s take a quick look at both of them.
MailChimp is the largest email marketing software, so it’s not surprising if you have heard of them or if you have seen their ads. They’re EVERYWHERE! They’re one of the only email marketing software tools that have a “free” level (notice the ” “, more on that later).
Some other features that make MailChimp really fun to use include the flat, modern design not only in its emails but also its dashboard. Overall, MailChimp is currently the industry standard when it comes to email marketing tools with almost every feature that you might need.
About Constant Contact
Constant Contact was founded in 1995 and is currently one of the top email marketing tools out there today. While the core strength of Constant Contact lies in the email marketing platform, they have introduced features over the years that like surveys and social campaigns, landing pages, etc.
The email marketing tool’s target market is small businesses, non-profits, and individuals. It comes with several niche features and is an overall solid choice if you’re looking for a great email marketing tool.
So how does Constant Contact and MailChimp compare against each other? Here’s a quick glance:
- Both platforms are used by tons of businesses around the world.
- Both of them are great when it comes to features and functionality but Constant Contact does have more niche features that can come in handy if you have complex needs.
- Both of them also have different pricing structures which, in my opinion, is the main thing you should consider when you’re deciding which platform is the best for you.
Now that we have a basic idea about both the tools, let’s see how they match up to each other in terms of features.
Constant Contact vs MailChimp: Features
Both Constant Contact and MailChimp come with an impressive set of features that cover all the requirements you might have from an email marketing tool such as automation, split testing, reporting, integrations, etc.
In this segment, we’re going to take a look at the different aspects of the two tools and see how they perform when pitted up against each other.
1. Importing contacts
When it comes to importing contacts, both MailChimp and Constant Contact provide a ton of flexibility.
On MailChimp, you can add contacts either by doing so one by one, importing a CSV file, copy-pasting from an excel file, or through an integrated service like SalesForce, Google Contacts, or Zendesk.
On Constant Contact, you can add your contacts one by one, or by copy-pasting them, or by uploading them from a file (.xls, .xlsx, .vcf, etc), or importing them through integrations.
While both the tools allow you to import contacts in a number of ways, Constant Contact has a slight edge as it provides a few more options if you want to import your contacts from a file.
2. Segmentation and contacts management
Managing your contacts and segmenting them is one of the most important features when it comes to email marketing tools. While both of them allow you to manage and segment your subscribers in a number of ways, MailChimp’s method is definitely a bit more complicated when compared to how Constant Contact handles it.
Constant Contact allows you to create different lists and also tag your subscribers to make segmentation easier. Managing your contacts is also made easier with a navigation bar that allows you to quickly filter contacts based on factors like tags, status, lists, and manual search. You can also add notes to your contacts.
On MailChimp, the tag-based approach is being prioritized over the list-based approach when it comes to segmentation. You can also use the “Groups” feature that allows you to put subscribers from the same list into different groups either manually or automatically based on the opt-in forms.
Segments on MailChimp are created based on the data stored about the subscribers such as the tags that are attached to them, actions they’ve taken, etc.
3. Email design and embedding
When it comes to email designing and embedding features into the emails, both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer a decent range of options. However, Constant Contact has a slight edge, especially when it comes to the things that you can embed in your emails.
Both MailChimp and Constant Contact come with a library of templates that are ready to go but Constant Contact’s library is slightly more extensive than MailChimp’s library. Additionally, you can also create or import your own templates too on Constant Contact.
One of the most useful features of Constant Contact is “action blocks” for eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce which basically allow you to embed your products directly into the email itself! Other “action blocks” allow you to do niche things like RSVP and conduct user polls.
Even though MailChimp matches most of the other email design features offered by Constant Contact, it lacks the ability to embed your e-commerce products directly into the emails itself.
Email marketing would be a very tedious process without automation. Automation allows you to create sequences of emails and send them based on different triggers such as opt-ins, user actions, after a certain time interval passes, etc.
MailChimp comes with a lot of power features that help in creating advanced automations. You can create different triggers based on user activity on your website and do cool things such as sending users personalized recommendations and purchase follow up emails.
Some other cool features include the ability to reward your subscribers with discount codes based on purchasing data.
While Constant Contact does come with some basic automation features such as setting up autoresponders and emails that are personalized, it is a little lacking when it comes to advanced automations and the features can seem to be a bit limited when compared to MailChimp.
However, do note that the automation features are not available on MailChimp’s free plan and are only included in the paid plans.
Constant Contact has the same amount of automation in their email plus plan that starts at $45/month.
5. Sign-up forms
To get people to register for your email list, you will have to use sign up forms. Ideally, sign up forms should be customizable and have email address validation built-in so you can be assured that you’re only adding qualified subscribers to your list.
On Constant Contact, creating sign-up forms is really easy. You can find an intuitive editor that makes creating forms really easy. All the forms are responsive and allow you to capture email addresses without any hassle. You just have to install a one-time code on your website and the forms are then automatically updated.
MailChimp also offers similar features when it comes to sign-up forms. You can create custom forms easily and integrate them into your website just as easily.
Both of the tools allow you to validate email addresses and the sign-up forms integrate with the rest of their platform seamlessly.
6. Split testing
Always be testing! Split Testing is a powerful way to optimize your email marketing performance. With split testing, different subscribers in your list will see different emails, or sign-up forms, or landing pages.
On Constant Contact, you can split testing any landing pages you create or any sign-up forms using third-party integrations. You can also split test different subject lines of your email natively in the platform itself.
MailChimp has slightly better split testing features as they allow you to not only split test the subject lines of the email but also the content of the email itself.
7. Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics are crucial when it comes to ascertaining the performance of your email marketing strategy. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp provide pretty detailed reports and analytics on your campaigns ie click-through rate, open rate, bounce rate, and other metrics.
Constant Contact allows you to keep track of important statistics like clicks, opens, and the revenue generated from your campaigns.
MailChimp is a bit better with analytics and reporting and comes with some useful features like comparing your results to industry averages along with providing the standard statistics. It also provides detailed reports such as the performance of your campaigns per hour and per location.
One big upside with MailChimp is that you get a click map overall to see where your users are clicking which can dramatically improve your results!
You’ll probably be using your email marketing tool, not as a stand-alone tool but will integrate it with different things such as the e-commerce platform you’re using or your CRM (customer relationship management) system or your CMS (content management system).
To make this happen, both Constant Contact and MailChimp allow you to integrate with a number of third-party tools.
While MailChimp does offer more integrations than Constant Contact when you consider the raw numbers but both of them support the most important tools that you might be using such as Shopify, WooCommerce, SalesForce, WordPress, and popular social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.
Overall, you should have no problems when it comes to integrating either one of them into your marketing stack seamlessly. Constant Contact does have a better management system when it comes to handling the different integrations offered.
Honestly, at that point, the numbers don’t even matter. In fact, both of them even integrate with Zapier thus connecting them with literally “EVERY integration” out there. We’ve reached a point of peak integration and it doesn’t matter what tool or service you use or are planning to use. Both MailChimp and Constant Contact will work with them!
The worst thing that can happen to any email marketing campaign is the failure of your email of actually arriving. They’re many reasons for this, but your email landing in the spam folder of your audience can be fatal.
That’s why email marketing tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact use abuse-detecting technology to help you write better email.
Constant Contact has a deliverability rate of 98 percent. While MailChimp email deliverability sometimes goes to 96%. That being said, Email Deliverability also depends on you, your content and your brand and business so it’s not entirely the fault of tools.
Constant Contact vs MailChimp: Ease of use
One of the biggest selling points of Constant Contact is that it is created to be as easy to use as possible. The drag and drop user interface makes Constant Contact extremely easy to use and helps you get started and up to speed very quickly.
All the features of Constant Contact are laid out in a way that makes it really easy to understand for people who are unfamiliar with email marketing in general. The design templates are also laid out pretty well and categorized by functionality so you don’t have to spend a lot of time going through them to find the one that is perfect for your emails.
MailChimp is also pretty easy to use and while its dashboard is clean and simple, it can take a bit of time to get used to it. It also has a drag-and-drop editor that makes it really easy to create emails and customize them. However, some features do have a bit of a learning curve to them which makes it a bit more difficult to use when compared to Constant Contact.
Personally, I prefer the drag and drop builder that Constant Contact has that makes it super easy to launch a campaign quickly.
Constant Contact vs MailChimp: Customer Support
Customer support is an important fact to consider for any tool you’re using, especially if you’re not familiar with the technology. While both Constant Contact and MailChimp have decent customer support, Constant Contact ranks slightly better when it comes to customer support.
On MailChimp, you can find a dedicated customer self-help page with a lot of articles and guides to help you with most of the common issues. You can also contact the customer support team through the website. MailChimp has 30 days of Email Support for their free plan which is a pretty great deal for beginners.
As for Constant Contact, you can get support via live chat, email, and over the phone. In addition, Constant Contact also has a decent knowledge base page where you can get detailed articles and guides for most common problems.
Lastly, Constant Contact also conducts various training events both online and offline which can help you understand how to use the tool to its full extent.
Constant Contact has paid phone support even in their cheapest plan while you only get that in the super-premium plans of MailChimp.
MailChimp vs Constant Contact: Pricing
Now that we’ve covered both Constant Contact and MailChimp, let’s take a look at the pricing on both the tools and compare them to find out which one ranks better.
Both the platforms operate on a pricing structure where you’re charged a base fee for the plan you use which comes with a fixed number of subscribers and then you’re charged more based on the number of subscribers in your list.
Currently, MailChimp offers 3 different paid plans and a free plan. Here’s a quick overview of the different MailChimp plans:
- Free – Up to 2000 subscribers and you can send 10k emails every month (that’s only 5 per person!)
- Essentials (starts at $10/month for 500 subscribers) – Up to 50k subscribers (@$259/month) and you can send 500k emails every month. Comes with reporting, A/B testing, and Single-Step Automations.
- Standard (starts at $15/month for 500 subscribers) – Up to 100k subscribers (@$500/month) and you can send 1.2M emails every month. Comes with Automation series, Retargeting ads, Custom templates, and advanced audience insights.
- Premium (starts at $299/month for 10k subscribers) – Up to 200k subscribers (@$1099/month) and you can send 3M+ emails every month. Comes with Advanced segmentation, Multivariate testing, Unlimited seats, and Phone support.
Constant Contact does not have a free plan and provides 2 major paid plans that I would recommend using. You can also make use of a 30-day free trial on both the plans. Here are the Constant Contact paid plans:
- Email Plan (starts at $20 every month for 500 subscribers) – Up to 50k subscribers (@$335/month). The Email Plan allows you to send unlimited emails, templates, basic e-commerce features, and most of the basic features of the tool such as integrations, landing pages, tracking, automations, etc.
- Email Plan Plus (starts at $45 every month for 500 subscribers) – Up to 50k subscribers (@$335/month). The Email Plus Plan is the highest-tier plan and along it comes with everything in the Email Plan and comes with a bunch of premium features such as dynamic content, RSVP, multiple users, polls, coupons, subject line testing, and more.
For lists bigger than 10k subscribers, Email Plan and Email Plan Plus cost the same which is great for growing businesses that plan on relying more on email marketing as they grow.
Constant Contact vs MailChimp: Pros & Cons
Here’s a quick overview of both Constant Contact and MailChimp with their pros and cons.
MailChimp vs Constant Contact: Who Won?
While both Constant Contact and MailChimp are great tools when it comes to email marketing but in my opinion, they’re meant for different users. In terms of features, they are both almost equal but it can be argued that MailChimp has a slight edge when it comes to advanced features.
However, in terms of customer support, Constant Contact is much better and provides customer support over a number of different channels.
When it comes to pricing, even though Constant Contact does not have a free plan, its plans are pretty on-par with MailChimp’s plans.
Overall, there is not really a clear winner when it comes to Constant Contact vs MailChimp. But if you’re looking for a simple to use tool that is not complicated at all and you’re okay with having limited automation features and split-testing features and value customer support, Constant Contact is definitely a much better option for you.
While MailChimp and Constant Contact are two of the best email marketing tools, there are also a number of other options you can try if you’re looking for something more. Here are some of the best alternatives to Constant Contact and MailChimp:
- SendInBlue: SendInBlue is a pretty decent alternative to both Constant Contact and MailChimp and it also includes some cool features such as SMS marketing, retargeting, marketing automation, and more.
- HubSpot: HubSpot is a very well known CRM system but they also have an email marketing tool that you can look into. It’s not perfect but there is a free plan that you can use to get a feel for the features and functionality of the email marketing tool.
- AWeber: AWeber is one of the biggest email marketing tools out there today. It comes with a wide range of features and is extremely easy to use keeping in mind the needs of users who might not be very tech-savvy.
- GetResponse: Lastly, GetResponse is a pretty decent email marketing tool that comes with all the features you need such as contact management, templates, automation, split testing, and much more.