You can only go so far with PPC, SEO, and social media campaigns in terms of converting your leads into sales.
A community of loyal customers can’t only be effectively built around email marketing.
But there is so much more to sending emails than meets the eye. The bulk of it involves creating professional campaigns, automating drip emails, tracking, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
Hence the need for an email marketing platform to do the heavy lifting.
Constant Contact has been around since 1995 but we can’t compare its market share with that of MailChimp. Almost everyone looking for an email marketing tool has heard of MailChimp.
MailChimp enjoys a whopping 62.23% of the market share while Constant Contact barely 9%. I won’t be looking for the winner based on a popularity contest.
It’s pretty hard to pick an email platform if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs. So, I will dive into the functionalities that make these two tools different from each other.
Ready? Let’s go!
|Free plan available?||No||Yes|
|Split testing||Only the subject line
split testing is available
|You can split test subject line,
content, and delivery time.
|Automation templates||Available||Ready-made workflows available|
|Landing page builder||They have an easy-to-use
drag and drop landing page builder
|Comes with a flexible drag and drop builder|
|Explore more||Explore Constant Contact||Explore MailChimp|
- They have a very high deliverability rate.
- They offer a wide range of integrations with all the eCommerce giants, including social media platforms.
- They have very responsive customer support.
- They have a massive collection of templates divided into categories with an easy to use drag and drop email editor.
- They offer insightful reporting insights for your campaigns.
- They have ‘action blocks’ that enable you to promote your products and give coupons.
- The deep integration with Shopify helps eCommerce store owners create shoppable emails.
- Mailchimp is a flexible solution for those who are newbies and pros looking for an all-round tool.
- The forever free tier offers a sufficient number of features, including landing page functionalities, customizable newsletter templates, and integrations.
- They have excellent reporting features, including geolocation-tracking, eCommerce tracking, and Google Analytics (GA) integration.
- It has a drag and drop builder that’s responsive, flexible, and allows great customization.
- With their Standard plan, you can have access to an advanced automation builder.
- The A/B testing feature allows you to test multiple variables including subject line, sender, content, and multivariate testing with the premium plan.
- Mailchimp’s social media post scheduling lets you design and manage posts so you can post them at a later time.
- They have a remarkable set of segmentation features and built-in CRM which shows you helpful and detailed insights into your marketing campaigns.
- You can create highly-customizable and personalized newsletters.
The interface is usually the first thing that people notice. It makes you go yay or nay.
Constant Contact has been created with simplicity in mind. Beginners and non-techy people will be at home on the interface.
It does not offer that many advanced features so naturally, it feels simpler than MailChimp. However, it’s got an old-school interface and design.
It takes a while to figure out where some features are like adding subscriber opt-ins. You make so many unnecessary clicks. That flat out bored me.
Other than that, you can create an email in Constant Contact only by clicking on that option, and if you face any difficulty, it walks you through the process by automatically playing a small clip.
I always praise MailChimp’s interface for its easy navigation, clean, and sleek interface. The editor is fast, and you can go back and forth to make sure each step of your campaign creation is on point.
It has a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create your templates and workflow automation. And I love that the interface is modern and fast.
Now with Constant Contact, you can upload contacts through excel files, copy/paste, typing, or use apps like Outlook, Salesforce, and pretty much any big platform.
And when it comes to contact management, they have not been left behind.
It allows you to use tags and groups to categorize your audience based on their behavior. Very much like MailChimp in this regard.
And the navigation bar on the left took it home for me. It makes it so easy to filter your contacts based on tags, subscription status, or email lists.
Plus, you can add custom notes to your subscribers. Any personal notes, phone numbers, addresses, contact fields, whatever you want. If you’ve used the Ontraport platform, you can relate to this.
The simplicity of doing all these makes their list management quite an amazing experience.
Oh! I can’t forget how they’ve made it possible to use data directly from Shopify to segment your contacts. Got to say it’s impressive.
With Mailchimp, you can upload your contacts by adding one by one subscriber, import a CSV file, copy/paste, or through programs like Google, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Highrise.
When it comes to contact management, MailChimp is a pretty handy tool. It gives you the tools you need to handle your audience like a champ! Okay, don’t go expecting Klaviyo prowess but, they’ve really gone a notch higher.
I am not talking about the normal groups and segments that have been there for ages. They have now introduced tags.
How cool is that?
They have now deprioritized their focus on lists and encouraged their users to utilize tags.
You can categorize your segments into different groups based on their behavior and action.
The tagging feature helps you not to have so many lists with the same people. Saves you mullah as MailChimp charges for every name on your list regardless of them being the same people. So, I’m super grateful for the tags.
Now, you can talk to a specific subset of your customers according to their location, promo subscriptions, birthdays, and other preferences. It’s taking personalization up a notch.
Mailchimp also comes with some built-in segments that you can activate with just a click.
And the good thing is, it provides a basic level segmentation in their free plan as well.
Constant Contact offers a 100+ template to create beautiful emails. I liked that they are more ready-to-use templates and the designs are sleek.
But, there are a few restrictions on its customization. Not very good news for all those creative designers out there. Cheaper tools with fewer templates like Moosend can do a better customization job.
On the plus side, it offers a gallery of stock images to add to your emails. And despite their lack of flexibility, you can add buttons, dividers, videos, social buttons, etc.
You can also decide to use code to create your template from scratch. But again, the drag and drop tool has limited customization options.
For brand consistency, once you’ve settled on a template, you can save it and re-use it later.
Mailchimp has numerous templates that come sorted in categories like events, newsletters, holidays, sales, and eCommerce.They are sleek, and very beautiful designs.
The flexible drag and drop editor is a champ. It’s one of the most customizable and it allows you to place elements like images, product recommendations, buttons, headers, and social media buttons.
If you find the templates too laid-back for your taste, you can build your layouts with HTML from scratch. And I love that you get to save your precious layouts to use later. This helps you maintain brand consistency.
You can preview your designs both on mobile and desktop before sending them out to your customers.
Winner: Mailchimp allows more flexible options for creating your email campaigns. And that makes a huge difference here.
Marketing automation is one of the number one reasons people go for an email marketing tool.
With Constant Contact, you’ve got only the basic automation covered. Seriously, with the price tag attached to it, I thought they’d do better.
Well, my bad! And again cheaper tools like Moosend do a better job.
You can set up autoresponders like birthday or anniversary messages. And they have very limited triggers to create your workflow. In fact, three triggers i.e. email opens, subscribers join a list, and link clicks.
Don’t worry, I was shocked as well.
As if that’s not enough, the only workflow action you have is to send emails, not add them to a list, segment, tag, or send SMS.
None of that stuff!
Sorry, you’ve got to forget all the if/then/else logic. In short, you’ve got next to zero personalization.
So, you have to manually automate what you want. Crazy, right? At least you can engage with your customers one-on-one through welcome, thank you, birthday, and purchase emails.
Anyway, if you move from Constant Contact automation or lack of to MailChimp, the difference is like heaven and earth.
Mailchimp has powerful automation features that let you send welcome and thank you emails, cart abandonment notifications, and product recommendations automatically with just one click.
They already have ready-made workflows for you to emulate if you’ve got no idea of where to begin.
But wait, folks, there’s more to it than just that. It comes up with pre-defined triggers based on customer purchase activity, location, and time-based behavior.
It makes creating hyper-targeted and personalized emails super easy as you can track your contacts as they move along your sales funnel and campaign.
Well, it’s not the raw and versatile Drip or Active Campaign automation builder but you can’t afford to compare it with Constant Contact.
Winner: Mailchimp. It wins hands down! It offers more automation features and ready-made recipes. However, if you need a visual automation builder that comes at the same price tag, Moosend will wow you!
A/B testing feature allows you to see what’s working and what’s not in your email marketing campaigns. You send different versions of the same email to see, which catches the most attention of your customers.
With Constant Contact, they don’t allow you to test different variables. You’ve got to make it work with only the subject line.
Don’t roll your eyes at me! It caught me by surprise too.
You create two different versions of your email and send out to a subset of your contact list, and the campaign version which performs better is automatically sent to the rest of the list. That simple!
I know, not that impressive. No content, sender, landing page, and automation testing. Zero!
Well, at least they are on the same boat with ConvertKit.
Mailchimp offers necessary testing in its free plan with just three variables: subject line, content, and delivery time.
However, if you happen to subscribe to their Premium Plan, you can make use of their multivariate testing, which allows up to 8 variables.
The only kicker is that you can’t test landing pages or automation workflows.
Winner: Mailchimp. It gives you a robust A/B testing feature and allows you to sit at the driver seat of your campaigns.
With Constant Contact, I got to say it’s in-depth integration with Shopify gives the eCommerce store owners a plus. And not to burst your bubble but the in-depth integration with Shopify is nothing like we have on Klaviyo. Honestly, Klaviyo plays in its own league.
Here you can drag and drop products, send abandoned cart emails, reminders, and create segment lists with just one click.
And I found one of the coolest things on Constant Contact.
They call them ‘Action blocks.’ You can add them to your emails to display products, send coupons, discount codes, or even collect poll or survey data. Impressive, right?
Non-profit organizations would also benefit from this as they can add donation buttons.
Too bad it’s only accessible on their Email Plus plan, which only costs you an arm and leg.
But fret not, all the tiers accept online payments and allow you to sell unlimited products. Got to say it’s a plus. And so much better than ConvertKit on the eCommerce front.
MailChimp, on the other hand, looks like an eCommerce powerhouse if you’ve come straight from Constant Contact.
The eCommerce inbuilt automation workflows are already a win. You’ll track your abandoned carts, order notifications, cancellations, purchases, and shipping confirmations.
And send retargeting emails! Mailchimp also automatically categorizes your audience according to their purchase history and their behavior throughout the campaigns.
Then in both Mailchimp’s free and paid tier, they allow you to track your sales from your marketing campaigns through their eCommerce360 feature.
And you can also integrate with shopping platforms like Magento, Woocommerce, Shopsync, or BigCommerce, you can follow your targeted campaigns and see what’s driving your sales.
The only kicker is their break up with Shopify. No Shopify integration. But they’ve tried to make up for it with Shopsync.
Winner: Tie. If you are a Shopify store owner, ConstantContact would be best for you. Otherwise, they both have sufficient features to run an eCommerce store.
If you are looking for a decent number of landing page templates, Constant Contact can easily rival GetResponse. They have an easy-to-use drag and drop landing page builder that allows you to create your pages from scratch as well.
Their collection of design templates is good, but that’s pretty much it. There is a lot of room for improvement with their personalization features regarding landing page design.
At least they allow you to adjust background images and simple style properties to reflect your company’s brand.
Also, you can create popups and embedded forms for your subscriber lists. The caveat, no customization with the forms. All you have is a description box with basic fields that you can’t add to.
And the final disappointment, you can do a maximum of 200 signups a day for your embedded forms. If you’ve got more signups, your audience will be disappointed as you’ve gotten to your limit.
MailChimp only has a handful of landing page templates. However, they come with a very responsive, customizable, and flexible drag and drop builder.
You can add text, images, social share buttons, products, promo codes, videos, etc. The only kicker, you can’t opt to use HTML to create your landing pages.
I loved that it gives you tracking options like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to follow your landing page, and also you can trigger automation through your landing page using your automation editor.
And you can create numerous subdomains for your landing pages that are in sync with your brand. Okay, you’ve got to pay up for it but hey, it’s worth it.
Plenty of flexibility?
Got to say MailerLite comes at about the same price and it offers 30+ templates, and powerful landing pages customization even with the free plan.
Good thing you can create pop-up forms and embedded forms.
Winner: Mailchimp. My rule in email marketing is ‘don’t compromise on the landing page customization, functionality, and flexibility.’ Constant Contact offers more landing page designs, Mailchimp offers better customization.
Knowing what worked and what flopped is the key to creating successful campaigns.
Constant Contact has upgraded its reporting and analytics to give you useful insights for your marketing campaigns.
Simply go into the ‘Reporting’ tab and overview your clicks, open rate, bounce rate, spam, and unsubscribes. But that’s not all, they have introduced a trends report for you to download.
Here you get to see open and click trends, subject line success rates, the device used, as well as different campaign success rates.
For all Constant Contact have done wrong, their reports put them on the map. They’ve even included click heatmaps.
They have also included eCommerce analytics recently and their Google Analytics integration takes it a notch higher.
Mailchimp also has pretty much everything you need to gather your campaign statistics.
From showing open rates, bounce rates to heatmaps of where your customer resides, clients’ geo-tracking, and social media behavior. And Google Analytics integration takes it deeper.
Does your customer link visual mails more than textual? What time zone is the most active for your customers? How many people unsubscribed from your service? Did the email reach their mailbox instead of spam?
Mailchimp answers all of these questions for you. Their eCommerce tracking capability also helps you get real-time data on your customer.
It’s not a state-of-the-art report like you have on Klaviyo but it’s a handy-dandy reporting tool.
If you want to go deeper into your statistics, their Premium Plan offers the comparative reports feature where you can analyze your campaigns.
Winner: Tie! Constant Contact gave a cutthroat competition to Mailchimp here. They both have a robust analytics tool.
Deliverability rate is an essential factor to consider while selecting your email marketing platform.
I did an email deliverability test and both Constant Contact and MailChimp were put to task with the 5 most popular email clients. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and iCloud. I liked that they both have SPF/DKIM verifications and I made sure they were used.
And Constant Contact hit the nail on the head. It went above and beyond my expectations. They have a deliverability rate of 85% percent.
Mailchimp’s deliverability rate wasn’t far behind at 82%. Both the tools give you a remarkable anti-spam protection feature as well.
Winner: Tie. They’ve both nailed the art of delivering emails straight into people’s inboxes.
We can’t be successful in email marketing without help from other tools.
CRM platforms lend a hand in lead nurturing, scoring, boosting subscriptions, etc. Ecommerce platforms help you create relevant campaigns by sending hyper-targeted emails.
You’ll also need accounting and billing tools to collect payment and customer data.
Basically, you need an email marketing platform that plays well with others.
Constant Contact, has 450+ integrations. It has tight integrations with platforms like WordPress, Paypal, Amazon, and Shopify.
Well, Zapier is also on board so you can integrate it with thousand other tools using API.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, offers over 700 integrations with big e-commerce platforms like Woocommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Facebook, Instagram, Zendesk, Twitter, etc. on board.
However, Mailchimp no longer supports integration with Shopify as I said earlier. But its collaboration with Zapier allows you to integrate with any third-party services that you wish.
Winner: Tie! Both platforms have really worked on their integration. You can access pretty much everything you need.
If you ever run into a problem while using these tools, customer support has your backs.
Constant Contact offers live-chat, phone, email, knowledgebase, and community-based support. Both plans have access to these options. You can ask the community anytime but phone and email aren’t available 24/7.
The live chat option is buried so deep in the platform that you have to dig to find it. Frustrating, right? But when you find them, they’re very responsive.
Moreover, Constant Contact is quite active on social media, and they arrange webinars every now and then.
Apart from Mailchimp’s DIY guides, tutorials, glossary, and help sections. They don’t have webinars or videos for visual learners making it a bit boring.
Another kicker is that the free plan doesn’t come with phone, email, or live chat support. And you’ve got snail-mail to keep you hopeful.
However, once you pay up, they bring you 24/7 email and live chat support. But their phone support feature is available only in their expensive premium plan, and even then, it isn’t 24/7.
Finally, we come to the eyebrow-raising section: Which will give me a good value for money?
Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial and comes with two plans Email and Email Plus. No forever free plan. Yicks! The lowest price is $20/month.
The difference between the two tiers is that Email plus gives you access to features like automation features, surveys, and customizable sign-up forms.
Mailchimp offers you a free plan that provides you with a sufficient number of features for all the businesses out there who have just started taking a flight.
You can keep contacts up to 2,000 and send 10,000 emails per month.
Other than that, they give three plans Essentials, Standard, and Premium.
For businesses that are searching for advanced features like segmentation, multivariate testing, and a large capacity for contacts, their Premium plan gives you everything.
Winner: Mailchimp. You’ve got value for money. The features you get for that price tag are a steal. And the forever free plan is a bonus.
If you’re looking for advanced features, automation, customization, and ease-of-use, MailChimp has your back. It’s an action-packed platform at a lower cost.
Both newbies and pros can choose it for their email marketing services. Plus, the free plan they put forward sets it apart from Constant Contact.
But, if you’re looking for a total knockout image hosting and reporting platform, Constant Contact has you covered. And if you need comprehensive support, it’s your jam.
In my honest opinion, Constant Contact is a hard sell considering they butted their event management feature that made them stand out. And considering the price tag, well, you’re better off with Mailchimp as it is all around.