If you’ve even dipped your toes into the world of ecommerce and online business, you’re likely to have heard of Mailchimp. The cartoon chimp in his perky cap is a titan of the online business world, attracting roughly 11 million customers to the mail and marketing service.
But Mailchimp isn’t the only service out there, even if it’s undoubtedly the largest. Constant Contact may only have a fraction of Mailchimp’s market shares, but loyal customers and a steady user base has made it a company you have to take notice of.
So, how do the two stack up? In this guide, we take a look at everything Mailchimp and Constant Contact have to offer, to find what’s right for you. Does Mailchimp deserve its place at the top? Or is Constant Contact an underdog with a service bigger than its reach? Read on to discover exactly how each service compares.
What Are Mailchimp And Constant Contact?
Before we dive into the details, you probably want to know exactly what Mailchimp and Constant Contact are. If you’re new to email tools, you might assume mail is all these companies provide. But while the heart of the services may be this simple marketing tool, both have expanded significantly over the years since launch.
Mailchimp, first launched in 2001, has been a steady presence in the world of ecommerce. Growing from a simple marketing platform to a complex tool, Mailchimp has kept a steady customer base that’s grown alongside the company.
With Mailchimp, a user is able to craft and send emails, analyze responses, and build a business. The company offers a popular free service, as well as several paid tiers. If you’re curious about email marketing, Mailchimp is likely to be the first company you consider trying.
It might come as a surprise to find that Constant Contact is actually the older company, having been founded in 1995. The platform has a user base of over 600,000 customers, drawn to the simplified range of tools offered to craft email marketing.
Although Mailchimp may be the bigger name, there are reasons to consider Constant Contact as your email marketing provider. Below, we cover all the important comparison points, to help you make the right choice.
Initial Impressions And Usability
Crafting an email using Constant Contact is incredibly easy, with a drag and drop system that you can learn to navigate like a pro in minutes. Everything is easily laid out in a manner that feels intuitive, and you can build up functions and designs in no time at all.
Constant Contact has made email marketing simple, but the downside to that is there’s reduced options. Building an effective email will always take less time when the service is limited.
If you’re starting a new business and have no idea about marketing design, Constant Contact can guide you through the process efficiently.
Mailchimp also uses a drag and drop tool to build emails, and crafting an entire marketing campaign feels easy. Move through the menu with ease to check every area of design, and create a unique campaign that draws the eye.
Mailchimp is perhaps the slightly more complex of the two, but the learning curve isn’t steep. Finding all the features may take some time, but once you know your way around, the service feels natural.
Which service is best for usability? Constant Contact is the easier tool to learn, but only by a small margin. If you’re willing to give up an afternoon to familiarize yourself, then you’ll be using Mailchimp like a pro.
Customization And Design
As important as the content is, it’s the initial design of an email that really catches the customer’s eye. Both Constant Contact and Mailchimp offer a range of design options. Constant Contact wins in terms of numbers, but Mailchimp arguably has the better designs.
A subscription to Constant Contact gives you access to over 240+ professionally designed email templates. Mailchimp, on the other hand, only has 100+.
However, the flexibility of Mailchimp allows you to take these simple templates and transform them into a unique design.
Both platforms allow you to craft your own newsletters from scratch using HTML. Mailchimp also offers simplified templates, for those who want something unique, but aren’t sure where to start.
The content block templates from Mailchimp are fantastic, with some unique features that allow an impressive flexibility.
Which Platform Is Better For Design?
The flexibility of Mailchimp gives it the slight edge in design and customization, as it encourages creativity without needing a thorough understanding of HTML. Social media links, modern templates, and unusual feature blocks really set Mailchimp apart. However, if you want access to a lot of easy-to-use templates, Constant Contact has the numbers to impress.
Having crafted your perfect email, you need to know how it’s going to turn up in people’s inboxes.
Mailchimp allows you to preview emails on different devices, test links, and even send a test email. You are limited to the number of test emails you can send per month, but it’s still a useful feature. With Mailchimp, you can accurately check how your emails will appear before you press send.
Constant Contact also allows you to test your emails before you press send, although there is a limit. With the test, you can see if the email ends up relegated to the spam filter.
Which Platform Is Best For Design Testing?
There’s no clear winner here, as they both offer a similar service. With Mailchimp and Constant Contact you can check your design on different devices, and see it for real in your own inbox.
Autoresponders And Automations
Automation and autoresponders allow you to use triggers to send emails depending on situations. These are an incredibly useful tool that allow you to effectively target an audience with limited hassle.
Mailchimp really pulls ahead here, offering automations on its free plan including welcome emails, retargeting emails, and post-purchase emails. This allows you to target customers to make a purchase they’re still considering, re-engage with the company, and follow up on purchases.
Constant Contact does offer autoresponders, but a limited number come at a price. The Automated Email series targets new subscribers, and they can also offer cart reminders via Shopify.
The A/B testing from Mailchimp is also superior. A/B testing allows you to experiment with different emails, to target subscribers based on their interest and response. Mailchimp provides basic A/B testing in its free plan, and up to 8 multivariate tests on it’s paid plan.
Constant Contact only allows for A/B testing on the subject line.
Which Platform Is Better For Automations?
Mailchimp wins this one hands down. There’s significantly more automation available on their free plan, so you can craft targeted campaigns.
Sign-Ups And Registrations
It’s easy to overlook registration forms when considering marketing, but without them you won’t have anyone to market to. The registration form has to catch the eye of potential subscribers, but also integrate into your site.
Mailchimp has plenty of options to ensure you nail the registration form, with the only possible downside being that you have to follow the HEX color code. With Mailchimp, you can really customize the sign-up form, adding and dropping fields with ease. They also have some great opt-in messages for you to customize.
Constant Contact is definitely limited when it comes to registration forms. The tick-boxes are standard, although you can customize font, color, and image banner.
There is one stand-out area from Constant Contact, which is the ability to create a QR code that links to your registration form. Depending on your business, this could be a real asset.
Which Platform Is Better For Registration Forms?
Unless you really like the idea of a QR code, Mailchimp is the clear winner.
A well crafted email campaign is only the first step toward creating success. In order to capitalize on growth, and continue to attract and appeal to potential customers, you need insight into what areas worked, and what ideas failed. For this, you need reporting and analytics.
Constant Contact has some decent analytics. They’ve included all the basics for understanding the successes of a campaign, and to guide you moving forward. Send bounces, open and click rates, forwards and updates can all be viewed from a simple activity tab.
Mailchimp has all this, and a little bit more. The metrics they’ve gathered can be viewed on interactive graphs, with comparisons to industry averages. Click maps and sales trackers really expand on what the customer is doing, allowing you to target future campaigns with precision.
Both platforms are able to integrate with Google Analytics.
Which Platform Is Better For Analytics And Reporting?
Constant Contact has a decent set of reporting basics, but Mailchimp comes out on top. They provide more data about what the customer is doing, down to some useful fine details. Mailchimp offers some of the best analytics in the industry, especially for the price.
What Integrations Are Available?
The email marketing tool works best when it can be combined with the data and results of other tools. Your CRM tools, CMS tools, and ecommerce tools should all be integrated with your email marketing.
In terms of sheer numbers, Mailchimp is the best for integrations. Mailchimp has over 700 integrations available, while Constant Contact has around 350.
Realistically, both platforms have access to all the integrations you need. Including Shopify, which did briefly disappear from Mailchimp’s offerings. However, this issue appears to be sorted now, and Mailchimp users can integrate directly with their Shopify account.
Both platforms also allow you to search for integrations based on category, but Constant Contact does have a slightly better search function. It’s really easy to browse the integrations on Constant Contact, in a way that feels clunky on Mailchimp.
Which Platform Is Better For iIntegrations?
Mailchimp has more integrations, but Constant Contact’s better search function makes finding those integrations easier. Overall, there’s no real winner. Whichever platform you choose is likely to have enough integrations to keep your business happy. If there’s one specific integration you can’t do without, it’s worth searching through to see which platform has it.
Support And User Help
Constant Contact provides access to phone support from Monday through Saturday, and a live chat function Monday through to Friday. Although neither system is 24/7, the live chat does run throughout most of the day.
Constant Contact also has a fairly active community forum, where you can get answers from people currently using the service. They also provide video tutorials, free webinars, and plenty of articles for new users.
Mailchimp offers a help bot and a lot of user guides, but if you want to give them a call, you need to pay for a Premium plan. Email support is also only available to free members for 30 days. After that, you’re on your own.
Well, not quite on your own. Mailchimp reports over 11 million active users, so most queries can be answered with a Google search.
Which Platform Is Best For Customer Support?
Constant Contact offers better user support, as you can call and chat most times of the day. If you need help with Mailchimp, you may have to rely on the kindness of internet strangers.
Are Your Emails Getting Through?
The big question: are your emails getting through. There’s nothing worse than spending hours carefully crafting your campaign, only to have it sent straight to spam (or not sent at all).
Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact promise good rates of deliverability, and it’s a tough metric to measure. Email deliverability depends on a number of factors, including sender and content.
Overall, Constant Contact has been shown to have higher deliverability rates than Mail Chimp.
Both services also give you the opportunity to check your email before it’s sent, for the likelihood of ending up in the spam folder.
Which Platform Has The Better Deliverability Rate?
Constant Contact wins this one, but Mailchimp isn’t far behind. However, Constant Contact tends to have a better overall rate, and their spam checker is robust. Either way, there’s a very high chance of your newsletter making it to the inbox.
Is There Anything Else To Consider?
We’ve covered the main points that each service has to offer, but is there anything else to set the platforms apart?
Constant Contact and Mailchimp have both added the ability to build a website to their services, so you can start marketing all from one place.
Honestly, both website builders are fairly simplistic, and work best as a starting point. They both offer a clear and simple builder, with customizations and flexible designs. A useful service, but you’re better off building a website elsewhere.
Mailchimp has also recently added a scheduling service, allowing you to organize appointments and meetings from your website. This add-on links into the website builder, and is useful if not comprehensive. In many cases, you’ll be better off using a third party.
Which Platform Is Better For Additional Services?
Mailchimp has more to offer, but in both cases these services are add-ons. If you’re creating a small business, then Mailchimp and Constant Contact website builders can start you off. However, if you plan on expansion, it’s best to use these platforms for email marketing only.
It’s immediately easy to see which platform offers the best pricing, because Mailchimp offers an extensive free service that’s sure to suit many new businesses.
The free service allows you up to 2000 contacts, and 10,000 sends per month. It also includes marketing CRM, brand tools, automation, and integrations. With the free service, a new business is likely to have access to all that they need.
The pricing as you expand does grow, but you can tailor it to suit your needs. The Essentials plan is more inclusive, and starts at $9.99/month based on 500 contacts.
The Standard plan starts at $14.99/month based on 500 contacts. Mailchimp’s all-inclusive Premium plan starts at $299/month based on 10,000 contacts.
As your business grows, Mailchimp has a service that can work for you. Compared to other email platforms on the market, the pricing is very reasonable. Especially for the features included.
Constant Contact doesn’t have access to a free tier, but you can try the service for a month, free of charge. Their pricing tiers are much more simple, although the price does increase depending on subscriber numbers.
There are two pricing tiers to Constant Contact. Email starts at $20/month, and provides access to a decent range of features. Email Plus is $45/month, and includes everything.
Which Platform Has Better Pricing?
Without a doubt, Mailchimp has the better pricing. Their free tier is fantastic, and the prices are reasonable even as you expand.
Mailchimp Vs Constant Contact: How Do They Stack Up?
The size of their comparative customer bases really does speak for itself. Mailchimp has 11 million subscribers, and the largest share of the market by a long shot. Constant Contact, the second-largest platform, has only 600,000.
Undoubtedly, one of the best reasons to use Mailchimp is the freemium plan. Until another email platform comes along with a free tier just as good, Mailchimp will probably continue to dominate.
There are some areas where Mailchimp is the clear winner. Use Mailchimp if you want:
- A generous free platform, with low-priced subscriptions for future expansion.
- Extensive automation features at a low price.
- Impressive customization options.
- Quality reporting and analytics for a small budget.
But there are some reasons to try Constant Contact. Subscribe to Constant Contact if you want:
- An intuitive and easy to use platform.
- Easily accessible customer support.
- A simple user interface that requires minimum fuss.
There are reasons to consider both Constant Contact and Mailchimp, But the free tier offered by Mailchimp is hard to resist. Beyond that, there’s so much included that Mailchimp feels like a natural choice for business growth.
Mailchimp and Constant Contact may have the biggest share of the market, but there are plenty of other email platforms available.
- MailerLite Vs Mailchimp: Everything You Need To Know - December 30, 2021
- How Can I Get My Money’s Worth With ActiveCampaign Pricing? - December 30, 2021
- Constant Contact: A Review For Small Businesses - December 30, 2021