Email marketing is still the most effective way to connect with your customers. Social media and pay per click advertising are both essential parts of the equation, but they can often only go so far. After all, you're not building a community of loyal customers with advertisements on social media or Google. Email marketing is still the way to connect with and engage customers, both new and old. So which email marketing tool is best for you? There are a lot of them out there, but we are going to focus on two of the most popular: Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Let's pit Mailchimp vs Constant Contact and see how it turns out.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on 13 November 2015 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: A Quick Glance at Both
Mailchimp is the largest email marketing application out there, and for good reason. They have a great program, and they also offer a free membership. Within minutes of setting up my account I was happily plugging away at my first email. The feature list is rather impressive, but the true reason people go with Mailchimp is because of its modern, flat designs, both on the Mailchimp dashboard interface and with the email templates. Its analytics in particular are worth a look, and they have some decent mobile apps that help with designing and sending emails.
As for Constant Contact, it doesn't have as many users as Mailchimp, but it's still one of the most popular email solutions out there. I set up my account in minutes, and the free trial doesn't require a credit card. It has a lot going for it and it does many things very well, but the email designs aren't as sleek as Mailchimp. That said, it is still a viable option for a number of reasons.
Mailchimp and Constant Contact are the go-to names for email marketing. They help businesses get in touch with prospects, market products and re-engage past customers through email.
Both platforms are rich in features and functionality. However, they have different deliverability rates and pricing.
When choosing tools for your business, you want to pick the best of the best. So how do you choose between the two email marketing giants? Keep reading to find out.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Overview
Let’s start by looking at some snippets of each email marketing solution.
Mailchimp at a Glance
Mailchimp is a leading marketing automation solution. It helps businesses create, send and analyze email campaigns.
In addition, they offer a free membership for new businesses and several third-party integrations. The modern designs on both its dashboard and email templates are quite impressive.
Constant Contact at a Glance
Constant Contact is equally a powerful email marketing solution with multiple ways to upload contacts. Its marketing automation feature lets you send a series of targeted emails you can personalize.
Even though it doesn’t have as many users as Mailchimp, it still offers great features such as event registration to drive attendance to your conferences and events.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Features
Are you wondering how they stack up? We used six crucial email marketing features to determine the best choice for each.
Email automation helps you create and send your emails to a whole list of recipients in one go. It uses set triggers to determine the type of email sent.
For instance, it would be tedious to manually design and send an email to every person when they sign up. With automation, you create the email once and it continues to send emails to people who meet the criteria you defined.
Mailchimp has great automation features that enable users to send personalized product recommendations and purchase follow-ups. You will find triggers to set up if someone clicks on a specific link, makes a purchase or abandons their cart.
On the other hand, Constant Contact lets you set up autoresponders and personalized emails. However, it has limited automation capabilities.
Mailchimp wins this round because it has more advanced automation features. That and the fact that it allows you to set up triggers for different online behavior. This lets you tailor emails according to the activity of your customers.
Mailchimp ensures that users distribute appropriate content. It uses Omnivore, an abuse-detecting technology. This predicts unethical practices in email campaigns before they are distributed. This contributes to the 96 to 99 percent deliverability rate.
Similarly, Constant Contact adheres to best practices and utilizes a spam check tool. This predicts whether your email campaigns will experience any deliverability issues. Constant Contact has a deliverability rate of 98 percent.
It’s a tie on this one because both platforms have high deliverability rates. Email deliverability also depends on reputation, authentication, and content.
Registration forms are a great way to check on people’s interest in your offers on your website. However, they can also make your business to spam a host’s mailbox without proper address validation. This will reflect poorly on your business.
Since the registration form can make or break your subscriber list, you have to ensure that you get it right.
Mailchimp provides many options from custom fields, drag, and drop features. The only caveat is that you have to follow the HEX color code. It has great opt-in messages that you can customize based on your preferences.
Constant Contact also lets you change the background color and font. However, its fields only offer the standard tick boxes for first name, company name and so on. It also lets you create a QR code that links to your form.
Mailchimp takes this round because it offers more options for customization.
Email marketing lets you test different variations of your email to find out what resonates best with your recipients. You can test the subject lines, email content, images, call to action, and send time.
Mailchimp provides three variations in its free plan. This allows you to send emails to a small segment to determine which variation worked best.
In contrast, Constant Contact doesn’t provide the same ability for automating tests. You will have to choose between sending one version to your recipients or spend some hours setting up multiple versions of the same email.
Mailchimp wins again. Time is a valuable asset for your business. You will most likely not spend hours testing and distributing emails you don’t know will work.
When it comes to design, Constant Contact offers more templates. On the other hand, Mailchimp provides more customization making it easier to use. This also gives users more flexibility with layout options and image placement.
Mailchimp also has unlimited storage space for images whereas Constant Contact offers only 2GB storage. In spite of this, Constant Contact provides a gallery of stock images to choose from where Mailchimp does not.
MailChimp takes the lead on this one too. Constant Contact is a bit rigid on the layout options. Mailchimp offers more flexibility when it comes to design.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Reporting
The success of an email campaign depends on the insights it provides on what worked and what flopped. This provides an opportunity for growth and advantage on future campaigns.
Mailchimp provides reports to explain the click-through rate, open rate, bounce rate, and other metrics. This helps you measure the success of your emails through interactive graphs. For insight on what elements attract subscribers, Mailchimp offers access to the click map overlay.
Constant Contact offers reports on the number of opens, clicks, forwards and more. It also has an activity tab that logs updates, exports, and removals. However, it doesn’t offer a click map.
Mailchimp has more advanced features on reporting than Constant Contact. It provides industry averages and an email click map for users to see the best positions for placing links.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Customer Support
Good customer support creates a positive experience for buyers. This, in turn, provides value to customers, retains customers and promotes endorsements for your brand.
Mailchimp offers a contact page for users to choose the topic of their issues. This takes you into related knowledge base articles address the issue. You can also use the support prompts to contact the support team.
In contrast, Constant Contact offers email support, live chat, and phone support. You can also use their knowledge base as a point of reference or its help center community. In addition, Constant Contact has online and in-person training events.
The Winner? Constant Contact
Constant Contact takes the lead on this round for phone support. Mailchimp doesn’t offer call support and this makes it hard to address issues instantly. However, both platforms offer live chat and email support.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Pricing
Mailchimp provides the plans below:
- Free plan– takes up to 2000 subscribers and lets you send 12000 emails every month. It provides free reports, signup forms, templates, automation, guides, and a 30-day email only support.
- Grow plan-starts at $10 each month and provides unlimited subscribers and emails. It also offers engagement reports, advanced segmentation, and email delivery tools.
- Pro plan– starts at $199 each month with the unlimited subscriber and email options. In addition, it also comes with API access, comparative reports, advanced testing, and support for high- volume sending.
Constant Contact offers the plans below:
- Email plan– starts at $20 every month. This plan provides unlimited emails, 1GB file storage, reporting, and contact management.
- Email plus plan– start at $45 every month. In addition to the features of the Email plan, it provides 2GB file storage, event marketing, email automation, coupons, online donations, polls, and surveys.
Constant Contact offers one month free on each plan.
The Winner? Mailchimp
Mailchimp wins on pricing because it offers flexible payment options. Its free plan comes in handy for businesses on a tight budget. Constant Contact is a decent choice for larger enterprises or small businesses with complex needs.
Mailchimp is the clear winner for its ease of use, advanced features and customization. It even offers a free plan and lower paid options when compared to Constant Contact.
It even takes a step further to give Constant Contact a total knock out with unlimited image hosting and reporting. However, if you value call support and more comprehensive customer support, Constant Contact is the better option.
In the long run, choosing one email marketing solution over the other depends on your specific business needs. This is because both Mailchimp and Constant Contact have their fair share of benefits and shortcomings.
Do you have any questions about this comparison? Which email marketing solution would you go for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Bottom Line
Either one of these services will allow you to mount a successful email marketing campaign. They both have the basic tools to help you get started, and they are both pretty intuitive. Mailchimp (check out our Mailchimp review) is cheaper (free) for people just starting out compared to Constant Contact (check out our Constant Contact review), which actually costs money, albeit very little. Constant Contact has a great customer support department, so you won’t have to worry about getting stuck when you’re just starting out. Remember, both of them have free trials or plans, so there is nothing stopping you from testing out each one before you commit.
Give Mailchimp a try.
Give ConstantContact a try.