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 November 13, 2015 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Constant Contact and Mailchimp – 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
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 (read our Constant Contact review) 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 auto responders 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.
Maiclhimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
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.
Maiclhimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
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.
Maiclhimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
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.
Maiclhimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
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.
Maiclhimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
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: Integrations
Your email marketing efforts become more successful with integrations. But which integration tools actually make email marketing more effective?
E-commerce platforms help you use valuable customer information to segment the target audience to send relevant campaigns, send customer review requests, subscription reminders as well as birthday and anniversary reminder messages.
Secondly, CRM (customer relationship management) systems allow you to set up lead nurturing emails, target prospects by the buyer’s journey and send upsell emails.
Thirdly, CMS (content management systems) helps you to boost your subscriptions by creating brand awareness with amazing content.
You can also leverage the accounting and billing tools to collect unique customer data for your email campaigns. For instance, billing information provides sign up dates for sending subscription reminder emails to customers. You could also use the location information provided to send geo-targeted campaigns.
Similarly, accounting information offers information about buying behaviour to help you send special offers and rewards to loyal customers. You could also send discounts and promotions to your budget customers.
Lastly, you can use social media to extend your reach. This allows you to send targeted emails through different social media channels.
As you can see, it’s more than a numbers game. It's more about what you get out of these integrations that really matters.
Mailchimp has over 700 integrations that include:
- Base CRM
On the contrary, Constant Contact has about 450 integrations that include:
MailChimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
Without a doubt, MailChimp has more integrations but its search functionality is limited in alphabetical order. This means that you have to already know what it is you’re looking for.
On the other hand, Constant Contact uses categories for its search function by business need, industry or attribute to make the process easier even for beginners. This is why it takes the crown for this round.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Ease of use
Constant Contact has been created with simplicity in mind. It has a drag-and-drop user interface that makes it easy to use. Searching for the relevant integrations is a breeze. Design templates are clearly laid before you by functionality sparing you the learning curve. Small businesses unfamiliar with how email marketing works and can’t afford to pay a designer can pick it up fast.
Similarly, MailChimp is not that far behind. Even though it uses colour sparingly to strategically draw attention, its dashboard is clean and easy to understand. It also has drag-and-drop tools to make creating emails, customization and adding images simple.
MailChimp vs Constant Contact: Winner?
Both platforms are easy to use so its a tie on this section.
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:
- Constant Contact Email plan– starts at $20 every month. This plan provides unlimited emails, 1GB file storage, reporting, and contact management.
- Constant Contact 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 vs Constant Contact: Pros and Cons
Now let’s look at the benefits each email marketing solution offers and the less desirable features that could be a deal breaker for you.
- Its thorough reporting gives access to great comparative metrics including geo-tracking and the Google Analytics integration
- Its free plan offers up to 12,000 emails for 2000 subscribers which is a generous offer
- MailChimp comes with advanced automation features to send purchase follow-ups as well as product recommendations that are personalized
- Its interface can feel clunky to high volume users
- MailChimp provides very limited customer support
Constant Contact pros
- Constant Contact offers a thorough customer support system for its services
- Constant Contact has over 400 templates-one of the largest free templates libraries
- It also sports useful native features such as the survey and coupon feature so you don't have to rely on external integrations
- It has strict affiliate link policies with a long list of blacklisted domains
Constant Contact cons
- Constant Conntact has very limited automation, A/B testing and reporting capabilities that limit its performance
Constant Contact vs Mailchimp: Overall Winner
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.
Constant Contact and Mailchimp Alternatives to Consider
If you find that Mailchimp or Constant Contact aren’t doing it for you. Below are some great alternatives to look into.
SendinBlue has improved its feature set to become a solid alternative to Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Some of its stand out features include transactional messages, SMS, IP plans, conatct management and a wealth of automated messages.
It comes with a free plan that lets you send 300 emails per day to unlimited contacts. This is followed by the Lite plan that costs $25 per month and the highest plan goes for $66 per month. Furthermore, SendinBlue offers the Enterprise plan for businesses with more specific needs. Check out our SendinBlue review for more information on what you get from each pricing option.
- It offers an SMS marketing tool
- SendinBlue provides solid email automation and transactional email features
- Setting up an account comes with some few quirks due to an outdated user interface
- Compared to popular email marketing solutions, its integration options are limited
HubSpot just launched a free version of their email tool. This is fantastic news because you can now combine the power of email marketing with HubSpot’s powerful CRM so your emails are personalized for each recipient.
The drag-and-drop editor allows you to quickly draft email campaigns that both reflect your brand and feel professional. But even if you aren’t too keen on design or if you’re running low on inspiration, you can easily get started with one of the many goal-based email templates available.
Once you’ve crafted the perfect email, you can insert personalization tokens that will auto-populate using any of the information you have stored in your CRM for each one of your recipients. Personalizing your emails gets you higher open and click-through rates.
The built-in A/B tests and analytics will allow you to measure and maximize the impact of your outreach.
- Send up to 2,000 emails a month for free
- Comes with a free CRM and many list segmentation options
- Powerful personalization features
- Drag and drop editor
- A/B testing and automation are paid features
AWeber is among the leading giants when it comes to email marketing. It comes with most of the features you need, its deliverabilty rates are great and it takes into consideration the less tech savvy users by making it easy to create enticing sign up forms without coding.
In addition, it comes with a wide range of messaging options as well as a visual builder to eliminate the need for backend editing. When it comes to pricing, AWeber’s lowest plan costs $19 per month while its highest plan goes for $149 every month. It also includes a 30-day free tria period to sample its feature offerings. Read more on its pricing options in out detailed AWeber review.
- Extensive reporting capabilities
- Visual builder feature lets you edit changes without dgoing to the backend interface
- Lacks Google Analytics integration
Klaviyo is a powerful yet easy to use email marketing solution. List segmentation is where it really shines. Using Klaviyo, you’ll get default lists that separate engaged subscribers from those who only find your newsletters appealing. Similarly, you can combine and exclude different segments for powerful targeting.
It also comes with impressive drag-abd-drop elements including social links, split columns and images. Another cool feature is that the triggered emails or flows can be designed based on real-time behavior from your online customers.
Klaviyo’s pricing system is based on the number of your email contacts. Paid plans start at $25 per month for up to 500 contacts. To get a gist about this works, check out our Klaviyo review.
- Impressive list segmentation options
- Easy visual builder
- Strong marketing automation capabilities
- Its complicated to get set up
- Data migration is stressful
GetResponse offers most of the important features you’d require in a professional email service provider. You can expect list segmantation, image hosting, template editor, social media marketing, automation, A/Btesting and Goggle Analytics integration.
Some special features it brings include their landing page editor as well as video-based email marketing support. GetResponse also offers a QR code generator and proprietary apps for iOs and Android mobile platforms.
Its lowest pricing plan is called Email and costs $15 per month. This is followed by the Pro plan that goes for $49 per month. Next is the Max plan that costs $165 per month while the highest option is the Custom plan and it goes for $1199 per month. Read more on its pricing plans in our in depth GetResponse review.
- Powerful list automation capabilities
- It offers the landing page editor
- Its templates need to be updated for a modern look
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: 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.