Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Jay Clover
For years, people have thought that email marketing is dead. They saw it as something irrelevant, invaluable, and without the power to promote a business. But, they were wrong and this year, email marketing is more important than ever. It became a way of directly promoting a business’ products or services to the target audience. From sending offers to notifying about sales and promotions, emails have become the must-have digital marketing tool.
Doing email marketing isn’t just send an email and you’re done. It’s more than that! That’s why you need to choose the right email marketing tool for your company. But, which tool is the right one for you?
In this post, we look at the two most common email marketing tools, Mailchimp and Constant Contact. We provide you an insight into their features to help you decide which one is the one for you. So, let’s get started!
Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact Brief Overview
Mailchimp is the best-known and most used email marketing tool. It’s easy to sign up for an account and there’s a free subscription plan. It has a modern and sleek user-friendly dashboard and email templates. And, it’s packed with numerous amazing features we’ll look at a bit later.
Constant Contact is also an email marketing tool with many incredible features. It’s very easy to set up an account and navigate through it. Plus, it comes with a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card. However, it doesn’t have as smooth email templates as those of Mailchimp.
While both tools come with a lot of features and are easy to use, they differ one from another in their performance and price.
Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact Features
Ease of Use
As mentioned above, both tools are easy to use. They have a sleek and user-friendly design which allows for easy navigation through the sections. They are created with simplicity in mind, which makes them perfect for beginners.
Mailchimp stands out for its navigation menu when creating an email campaign. You can move forward and backward through the steps to check if everything’s ok. Also, it comes with drag-n-drop tools which make creating emails, adding images, and customizing the same very simple.
Constant Contact comes with a user-friendly interface and a nice-looking dashboard. It also has a drag-n-drop user interface that makes using it very easy. However, its overall design is not so modern as that of Mailchimp. Namely, some features are hidden in the menu.
Speaking of ease of use, we can’t miss the design of both tools. When it comes to this feature, we have to say that Mailchimp leads here due to its attractive and useful templates. Although Constant Contact comes with 100 templates and Mailchimp with 80, Mailchimp offers much more.
Namely, the templates of Mailchimp are categorized into several types, including e-commerce, newsletters, events, notifications, and holidays. Also, it offers blank templates on which you can add your content in any way to want. And, while Constant Contact offers blank templates, too, they are not very useful. In addition, Mailchimp’s templates are more flexible and can easily be customized.
Both tools allow you to create newsletters from scratch using HTML. You can also import them from a URL or a .zip file. Also, you can save the templates you create to use them again in the future.
Automation is one of the best features of email marketing platforms. It helps you take care of your email marketing without actually constantly sending emails. Instead, you can create the emails and send them to all your subscribers at once. Plus, you can create a certain type of email (welcome, thank you, etc.) once and then the app sends it to the people who fit your predefined criteria.
Mailchimp offers many automation features, including:
- Welcome emails – when people sign up to your email list
- Special occasion emails – for customers’ birthdays or other special days
- Special offers and codes
- Customer Journey builder
- Printed postcards for people who abandoned their cart
- Product retargeting emails for customers who didn’t complete their purchase.
On the other hand, Constant Contact offers autoresponders, personalized emails, contact segmentation, resending emails to those who didn’t open the previous one, and a lot of list building tools. However, to use (some of) them, you have to pay.
This is the key feature that can or won’t bring you new subscribers. When people sign up via these forms, they agree to be on your e-mail list and receive offers, promotions, and other types of emails from you. However, you have to be careful about how you design your registration forms because if they miss an element, your emails may end up in the recipients’ spam folder.
Speaking of design, Mailchimp allows you to add custom fields, drag-n-drop the existing fields, customizable opt-in messages, and more. Similarly, Constant Contact allows you to customize the font, background color, image banner, and create a QR code linked to your form. And, it offers opt-in messages, but they aren’t interesting as those of Mailchimp.
This feature is very useful because it allows you to try how different variations of your email will perform. In other words, it helps you find out which email will be best accepted by the recipients.
With Mailchimp, you can test up to 3 variations with the free plan. You can test the subject line, content, send time, and more. On the other hand, with Constant Contrast, you can test only the subject lines and can choose between sending one version of your mail or create multiple versions of the same mail manually.
Design and Spam Testing
Apart from ensuring your emails perform well, you also need to make sure they look good and arrive in your recipients’ inbox. That’s why you need the design and spam testing feature.
Mailchimp offers Inbox Preview, a 3rd-party tool that allows you to preview your email visually. This tool is available in the paid plans. The users receive 25 tokens, which allows for 25 previews. Those that use the free plan, can sign up for Litmus, another design and spam testing tool that allows users 7 days free trial.
Constant Contact also has a spam testing feature, but it’s not reliable. Therefore, it’s better to use an external spam testing tool like Mail Tester.
This feature is closely related to the previous one. It makes sure that your emails have appropriate content, not an abusive one. For this purpose, Mailchimp uses Omnivore which predicts unethical practices of email campaigns before they are sent out. On the other hand, Constant Contact uses a spam check tool which predicts if your campaigns will have deliverability issues.
Which tools your app integrates with plays a major role in the efficacy of your email marketing. It’s because working along with other tools expands your app’s ability and features. Some of the most important integrations are with:
- Social media platforms – mainly serving to reach to your target audience and expose your business to the public. Integrating with social media platform allows you to send emails to your target audience.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems – allow you to create lead-driving emails, upsell emails, and target prospects corresponding based on the buyer’s journey.
- Content management systems (CMS) – help you boost the number of subscriptions by creating attractive content that raises awareness of your brand.
- E-commerce platforms – allow you to find your target audience and send customer review requests, relevant email campaigns, birthday reminders, etc.
- Accounting and billing apps – collect customer data for your email campaigns, like signup dates, location, buying behavior, etc.
Mailchimp comes with over 700 different types of integrations, including WooCommerce, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress, Base CRM, QuickBooks, SalesForce, etc. On the other hand, Constant Contact offer around 450 integrations, some of which are Shopify, Zapier, Eventbrite, Facebook, WordPress, SalesForece, and Hootsuite.
To know whether your email campaign has been successful, you need to know its insights. And, you can find that out by using the reporting features of these tools.
Mailchimp provides an in-depth analysis of audience responses, including:
- ROI tracking across all channels
- Social media reports
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Open rate
- Click maps
- Newsletter success per provider
- Conversion tracking
In contrast, Constant Contact offers very limited reports. It provides you only with reports on the number of opens, clicks, forwards, and Google Analytics for tracking conversion.
Although not a classic type of feature, customer support is very important in determining whether an app is worth using and paying for or not. It helps users solve any issue they may have using the app or other technical problems. But you don’t have to worry about this feature because both tools offer great customer support.
Mailchimp offers 24/7 support for all paid users while free users get 1-month access to customer support and then they are on their own. You can contact them via live chat, email, and phone (depending on the subscription plan). Keep in mind that their email support is available 24/7 whereas their chat and phone support at available only during business hours. There’s also a contact page where users can choose a topic related to their issue and find the pre-written answers to that issue.
Constant Contact, on the other hand, offers live chat, phone, Twitter, and a community forum. Keep in mind that their community support and Twitter work 24/7 whereas their live chat and phone work only during business hours. However, their answering times are very slow and they may even not get back to you at all. Plus, their cancellation process is complex since you have to call them instead of simply canceling online.
Mailchimp offers 4 pricing plans:
- Free – $0/month
- Essentials – $9.99/month
- Standard – $14.99/month
- Premium – $299/month
Constant Contact offers 2 pricing plans:
- Email – $20/month
- Email Pro – $45/month
Although there isn’t a free plan, there is a one month free trial period per each plan.
Alternatives to Mailchimp and Constant Contact – The Top 3
Mailchimp and Constant Contact may be the best-known and most commonly used email marketing tools out there. But, they are certainly not the only ones. There are many other similar tools that have more or less similar features to them and here are the top 3 of them.
Moosend is a great alternative for beginners with a limited budget simple because is completely free to use forever. There are no limited features or how to use them for your email marketing campaigns.
Although free, this tool comes with numerous impressive features, such as custom sign-up forms, email list segmentation, stunning email newsletters creation, analytics, responsive newsletter templates, automated email list growing, automated email marketing, landing page builder, integrations, and much more.
What makes Moosend so great is that it has a free forever plan. But, even if you decide to go for one of its paid plans, you will get them 30% cheaper compared to Mailchimp.
- Plenty of features
- Email marketing automation
- Simple to use
- Sometimes the emails are flagged as spam.
- Doesn’t integrate with some apps as the pricier alternatives are.
- Limited analytics.
Moosend has 3 pricing plans:
- Free – $0/month
- Pro – $8/month
- Custom – send an inquiry for price.
Plus, there is a pay-as-you-go option which allows you to pay only when you send emails at no extra cost.
SendinBlue is another of the best alternatives to Mailchimp and Constant Contact. It comes with a lot of great features, such as contact management, automated messages, transactional messages, SMS, IP plans, CRM, plenty of segmentation options, integrations, and much more.
What makes this tool so popular and favored by many is that it’s simple and straightforward to use.
- SMS marketing tool
- Email automation features
- Transactional email features
- Easy to use.
- An outdated user interface, which makes the setting up of an account a bit weird.
- Limited integration options.
SendinBlue has 4 pricing plans:
- Free – $0/month
- Lite – $25/month
- Premium – $65/month
- Enterprise – send an inquiry for price
Although third, GetResponse is no less good than the previous two on this list. In fact, it comes with a plethora of features that are crucial for a professional email service. Some of them are template editor, A/B testing, list segmentation, Google Analytics integration, social media marketing automation, landing page editor, video-based email marketing support, lead-nurturing CRM, QR code generator, and Android and iOS apps.
Apart from being packed with amazing features and offers the best value for money among email marketing tools, GetResponse is also easy to use.
- Landing page editor
- Powerful list automation features.
- Outdated templates.
GetResponse has 4 pricing plans:
- Basic – $12.30/month, currently $11.07/month
- Plus – $40.18/month, currently $36.16/month
- Professional – $81.18/month, currently $73.06/month
- Max – send a quote per price.
The current prices shown here are a limited-time offer as a part of their Goodbye 2020 Sale. You can save anywhere between 10% and 37% depending on your billing period (monthly, manually, or bi-annually).
As you can notice, there’s no free plan. However, each paid plan (except the Max plan) comes with a 30-day free trial period.