Constant Contact vs MailChimp: Which Is Better for Optimizing Email Delivery? (Case Study Included)

By Bill Acholla November 1, 2019

The first time I tried email marketing, I failed miserably.

It wasn’t for lack of trying.

I took great pains to send my contacts something useful. I made sure to write decent copy.

But I was faced with a horrible realization – It’s like no one even bothered opening my email.

I was stumped.

It turns out, there is more to email marketing than I thought. Engaging people through email takes so much work!

The bulk of that work involves creating professional looking campaigns, keeping track of what I was sending, and figuring out what works for specific people.

It’s not just another marketing tool. It’s also a customer relationship management tool.  

Today though, there are email service providers like Getresponse, Mailmunch, Convertkit that could do the heavy lifting.

And two of the most popular is Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

It can be hard to choose which one to subscribe to. That’s why it’s important to take a look at their pricing and features and how they differ.

[Full Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. You can read my complete disclosure statement here.]

What is Constant Contact?

Constant Contact provides you an easier way to do everything you need to do for email marketing.

Once you have created a list, you can immediately start your campaign. No coding knowledge is required because of a user-friendly graphic interface. 

There are so many prebuilt templates to choose from and you can easily customize them. You can also schedule for the emails to be sent at a specific time.

There are many templates to get you started. The intuitive editing tool allows for customization.

You can make changes to text, color and images. Store your company logos and other branding tools in the media library.

Both of these email service providers have lots of built-in great looking templates including mobile –optimized ones.

The customization allows you to name use of your own images and colors.

There are several ways to add contacts to Constant Contact. You can copy/paste, manually encode addresses, upload a file, import from Gmail or Outlook , or import from CRM tools.

You can monitor how your campaign is doing through the Reports function.

You will get access to useful information such as opens, clickthroughs, and unsubscribe requests.

You can even access a bar chart to compare data across different campaigns.

You can do high level side by side performance comparison can be performed.  

These let you know what works and what doesn’t so you can understand your market better and tweak your campaign for better results

It also has awesome integration capability including social media integration.

It integrates with basically every popular CRM including SalesForce, blogging platforms like WordPress, and ecommerce platforms like Shopify.

Constant Contact offers so many features that it has become the go-to for email marketing for nonprofits.

Wright Locke Farm Case Study

For example, Wright Locke Farm, a non-profit that grows organic produce and offers educational programs about organic farming, benefited from Constant Contact’s range of features.

They can’t afford to hire an in-house programmer – they mostly work with volunteers but that’s not a problem because the easy-to-use editors and intuitive, mobile-friendly interface helps them compose emails faster and schedule sending.

At one point, Wright Locke needed to raise money for their “Save the Farm” program, and they were able to use the platform to send a fundraising link to subscribers. Social media capabilities helped get them further.

The event management software also made it easier for organizations like them to set up a registration system for those who want to attend community events.

Archie, the volunteer who handles email marketing, uses CC’s analytics tools to know who’s opening and clicking, to find out about kind of content that engages his subscribers.

Cost

You have two options if you’re looking to get Constant Contact services Email and Email Plus. They both offer a free plan for the first month.

The Email comes with unlimited emails for a list size of 500 contacts. It costs $20 per month after the first month.

Email Plus costs way more at $45 but it comes with eCommerce, surveys & polls and coupons, online donations functionalities, email automation, and event marketing.

Pros

1. Constant Contact is free for the first 60 days although you can only send up to 100 contacts. You can send unlimited emails though.

2. It makes list management easier. In email marketing, you will want to customize the kind of emails you send based on your lead segmentation to promote engagement.

For example, you can send a welcome email to new subscribers only. Constant Contact has easy to use lead segmentation features.

Not only can you create different lists for your contacts, you can also add tags to your contacts, which is a feature that’s not offered by other service providers like Mailchimp.

Adding tags is easy. Just click on the contact you wish to tag and then click on manage Tags.

3. Email templates are polished.

4. The drag and drop is very easy to use that you don’t even need any knowledge in programming to customize templates and come up with something that looks professional

5. Analytics are in depth. In addition to being track things like opens, clicks and revenue from your campaigns, you can compare open stats between desktop and mobile users.

6. You get access to timely data with CC. With its Reports function, real time data is as easy as pressing the refresh button.

7. Constant Contact also has great 24/7 customer support. You can reach them through phone, email and chat.

You can even reach them on twitter during weekends if you need urgent assistance.

They also provide an extensive knowledge base.

8. The unique event management app is a must-have feature if you’re in the event management business (e.g. you frequently host webinars).

You can accept payment online and track registration and even set up a special landing page.

Cons

1. Constant Contact likes claims to be hybrid between email marketing solutions and marketing automation, but it does not have as many automation functions as other services.

It focuses only on two triggers — when someone signs up for the list, and when a subscriber achieves a milestone such as a birthday.

There are no advanced automation features that let you send behavior-targeting emails other than signing up.

You can’t modify the automation for when someone opens an email or clicks a link.

2. Constant Contact also lacks A/B testing functionality. If you have to perform split testing to compare different elements of your email campaign such as names, subject lines, and content, you’ll have to do them manually.

3. Other email marketing software allows you to automatically archive email campaigns on your own site, but Constant Contact does not offer automation for this process – you’ll have to do it yourself.

What is MailChimp?

Mailchimp offers many tools that will make your email marketing tasks so much easier.

It provides tools that enable you to quickly create campaigns and automate email sending processes.

You can also integrate the services with other apps and marketing tools.

Digital Impulse Case Study

Online marketing companies such as Digital Impulse for which email marketing is vital make use of Mailchimp.

They were able to build their list and launch effective social media and email campaigns.

At one point, they decided to launch a program where users can sign up in exchange for a chance to win prizes.

As more people signed up, the company used analytics in creating lead segments and the open rate reached an unbelievable 80%!

Mailchimp helps you grow your list through dynamic forms that can be customized to feature your branding and then embedded on your website. Creating these forms is easy.

Managing your contacts is a bit more complicated but the functionality is also pretty deep.

You can create groups and segments in each list and then target specific users in a list.

For example, you can use groups to categorize contacts according to their interest and profile.

It’s not as simple as Constant Contact’s tagging feature but it does the job and is especially useful because it means you won’t have to manage so many lists with the same people.

You can just use groups as a filtering tool. You can have up to 60 groups per list.

You can connect your email marketing campaigns to your eCommerce store through API integration. This lets you see how successful your campaigns are in terms of conversion.

You can also use the data gathered for lead segmentation. This way, you can change modify your approach depending on the kind of lead you’re dealing with.

Mailchimp also provides analytics tools, which is crucial because they give you valuable feedback.

They help you find what to look for such as how they respond to images or other kinds of content.

Cost

There are three pricing tiers:

Free Plan/New Business Plan – Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. This package includes signup forms, email templates, and email automation.

Growing Business Plans – For $10 per month, you’ll get everything that comes with the previous plan, plus advanced segmentation, database connection as well as engagement reports and delivery tools.

Pro Marketer Plan – This is pretty expensive at $299 per month. It comes with everything that comes with the Growing Business package, plus API access, support for high-volume sending, advanced testing and cutting edge automation tools.

Pros

1. Mailchimp takes branding up a notch through the “Get Colors from My Site “ feature which attempts to generate  a template for your campaigns based on the color and images you use in your website.

2. Topnotch testing tools help you create the most effective emails and offers. 

A/B testing, for example, lets you split-test various elements of their email campaigns, such as subject lines, names, content and send time.

3. You can check how your email will look from the receiver’s end, thanks to an inbox preview tool.

This is important because you want your copy to look professional and well-done. Any mishap could result to damage to your brand. 

4. Mailchimp has incredible automation capabilities. With Mailchimp, you have many options to send an email automatically to certain segments.

There are many applications for this feature. You can send an email automatically to a subscriber who has just signed up.

You can also set emails to be sent based on purchase data so you can engage your audience and keep them coming back.

You can send automatic emails during a subscriber’s birthday.

5. It can be integrated with site analytics. You can use data to reduce shopping cart abandonment by sending automatic emails reminding your contacts about what the items in their cart.

6. The campaign archive toolbar is free, giving easy access to your email campaigns.

Cons

1. The free plans do make Mailchimp seemingly more accessible to small business owners but they are pretty barebones.

There are no advanced features such as reports. However, they did make automation features available in 2017.

2. Their segmentation is in-depth but is more complex than Constant Contact’s.

3. When viewing report data in Mailchimp, you have to manually load the pages. However, open data and clickthroughs do register instantaneously.

4. Mailchimp is lacking in customer support. They make up for this with an outstanding knowledge base but if you’re subscribed to the free plan, there’s no way to get in touch with them.

If you do get a premium plan, they only provide chat and email support. They can’t be reached through the phone

The Verdict

When doing email marketing, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Both Constant Contact and Mailchimp can provide exactly that.

Mailchimp has a relatively cheaper price but their full featured Pro Marketer plan is way expensive compared to Constant Contact’s feature-rich Email plus plan.

Constant Contact’s range of functionalities and intuitive interface make it the better choice not just for small business but any kind of organization.

If you’re looking to conduct surveys and build a powerful email list for example, Constant Contact is the better choice.

Their event manager software is also perfect if you’re in the business or a charity organization.

Constant Contact also has a free 60-day trial period so there’s no reason not to try.

With its 97% deliverability rates, which is the highest in the industry, the unbelievable amount of customization options and templates and the excellent support, Constant Contact is looking to be the better option for new entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Now Its Your Turn

Now that you’ve seen the difference between constant contact vs Mailchimp, which one do you think marketers should choose? and why?

Leave your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I use Constant Contact, and it does have A/B testing.

  2. Looks like MailChimp offers phone support now

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