Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: Which Email Marketing Tool is Best for You?

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Today’s marketers face diverse challenges. You know that better than anyone. It’s also no secret that marketing automation tools, particularly those with email marketing are like playing on the team with the all-star quarterback — they give you a distinct advantage. To help you get the best bang for your buck, we put together an analysis of Mailchimp vs Constant Contact, two leading email marketing tools.

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Mailchimp vs Constant Contact

Often trumpeted as excellent choices for small to mid-sized businesses, they each pack a bevy of features into two lightweight and low-cost web apps. The question is, which of our competitors brings that all-star performance to the table? We put these two titans through a feature-by-feature comparison to help you decide. So sit back, grab a coffee and let’s see who comes out on top.

Overviews

Before we dig into the meat of our comparison, here’s a high-level rundown of the products.

Mailchimp

With nearly 20 years of email service under its belt and claiming 60% of the email industry’s market share, Mailchimp is easily the most recognized name in the game. Anybody from entry-level marketers to industry veterans can use it, making it an attractive choice across the board.

Although Mailchimp moved to providing an “all-in-one” marketing platform in 2019, it cut its teeth for years in the email marketing space. This combo gives users deep email capabilities that are seamlessly integrated with a suite of marketing tools. That means you can keep it bare bones or leverage features that support much more complex campaign needs.

On the target user front, Mailchimp has always been clear – its entire existence is dedicated to serving small businesses. Good news for smaller operations that want robust marketing software without the sticker stock that accompanies many enterprise systems.

Get a full review on our Mailchimp product page.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact has actually been around longer than Mailchimp, and in its 25+ years in business has carved out a nice place for itself. Like its competitor, Constant Contact is committed to SMBs – with the additional perk that it can also cater to nonprofit needs.

In terms of functionality, you can expect strong email capabilities, along with expanded offerings that match the evolution of Mailchimp and other email platforms. Some notable ways that Constant Contact has widened its reach include social media posts and ads, marketing automation, and Google ads.

Get a full review on our Constant Contact product page.

Head-to-Head Features Comparison


Mailchimp Pricing Constant Contact Pricing

1. Automation

Kicking off our Mailchimp vs Constant Contact match, we have automation — a trendy feature, but for good reason. If you want to save time by streamlining tasks, both products have your back. Let’s see how.

In the Mailchimp world, you have quite a few options to handle those important but time-sucking activities like welcoming new subscribers, resending unopened emails, shooting off a special discount offer to reactivate dormant customers and generally facilitating communications with your audience. On top of that, you get single-step automation triggers for product recommendations, abandoned carts and more.

Mailchimp Email Automation

The default email automation choices in Mailchimp.

Similarly, Constant Contact lets you craft email series’, welcome new subscribers on autopilot, set up emails to send on important dates such as a client’s birthday and resend emails when needed. Triggers for order notification, abandoned carts and other scenarios are available as well.

Constant Contact Email Automation

Constant Contact’s email automation tool.

Best Choice: Both systems are close in this department. But Mailchimp provides welcome emails and triggers in the free version, whereas you have to pay to play with Constant Contact. First round goes to Mailchimp.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #automation capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.
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2. Email Templates

Templates make your job way easier and are a standout feature in most email marketing platforms. So it’s no surprise that Constant Contact and Mailchimp deliver the goods here.

Constant Contact gives you a ton of options – over 240 to be exact, and all mobile-friendly. A drag-and-drop editor takes the hassle out of configuring the template, and you can set elements like background, colors and fonts to your preferences. It also lets you embed surveys and drop in products from an online store.

Constant Contact Email Templates

Some of the email templates offered by Constant Contact.

Template themes make it even quicker to find something appropriate for different occasions like event invitations or announcements. And if you’re more of a DIY type or want greater customization control, HTML templates let you do just that.

Mailchimp is also strong in the template department, with more than 100 mobile-friendly options to choose from. Its drag-and-drop interface makes design a cinch, letting you plug and play to achieve the look you’re after. If that’s still too limiting and you want the option to customize at the code level, you’ll need a Standard plan.

Best Choice: Given its higher number of template options, we’ve declared Constant Contact the winner for this feature.

Advantage
Constant Contact rates better than Mailchimp for #EmailTemplates in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

3. A/B Testing

Want to optimize your efforts? Run tests.

Want to collect data you can leverage down the road? Run tests.

Running A/B tests can be a lynchpin for a strong email strategy. After all, ideas are only as good as their ability to deliver, and you can determine that more easily by setting up tests.

Constant Contact only offers A/B testing for subject lines. While helpful, it severely limits what you’re able to measure.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, has a robust set of choices for seeing what works best for your campaigns. You can run A/B tests for send times, “from” names, content and subject lines. It also lets you set criteria for the winning campaign, depending on what metric you want to focus on.

Having a Premium plan activates the multivariate campaign feature, which lets you choose from the variables mentioned above and then run campaigns for each combination, to a max of eight. This level of detail helps you see which changes have the smallest or greatest impact on campaign performance.

Mailchimp Multivariate Testing

Setting up multivariate testing in Mailchimp.

Best Choice: With so many options and the powerful addition of multivariate testing, Mailchimp is the clear winner here.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for A/B testing in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

4. Marketing Tools

Time for a peek under the hood at the engine powering your efforts. Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact have tools that go beyond the scope of email marketing, but which also go hand-in-hand to enhance your marketing. Here’s a quick rundown.

Both products let you:

  • Track web activity (with Mailchimp, your online store needs to be connected)
  • Create personalized and dynamic content
  • Build landing pages
  • Conduct A/B tests
  • Integrate multiple apps (more on that shortly)

Best Choice: As we saw a moment ago, however, Mailchimp goes much further on the A/B testing front. It also lets you create postcards. For those reasons, we’ve given it the advantage in the marketing feature realm.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #MarketingTools in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

5. Contact Management

Contact management is a core element of CRM software. What this boils down to in the email marketing world is audience segmentation. If you have a database of any decent size, you’ll want this ability because it enables you to manage and organize your contacts effectively and efficiently.

So, how do our competitors measure up?

Mailchimp provides audience and contact segmentation, using subscriber information to filter your audience according to various criteria. You can choose from up to five conditions to tell the software which bucket to place contacts in. These can be either positive or negative relationships, giving you more flexibility. You can select from a wide range of segments, including signup source, location, subscription status, campaign activity and more.

Mailchimp Audience Dashboard

A breakdown of audience data in Mailchimp.

For example, if you want to build an audience based on engagement, you could use the contact rating to specify contacts that have a certain star rating.

Constant Contact also provides extensive contact segmentation, ranging from click habits and behavior to contact details and Shopify activity. One nice feature is its link segmentation. When activated, it places every subscriber who clicked on a link into an even more targeted list.

Constant Contact Contact Management

The contact management feature in Constant Contact.

In addition, “and/or” conditions provide even greater leverage for hitting that sweet spot with your targeting. Say you’re running a regional promo and want to notify a group about a weekend sale. You could segment the list based on location and then add another layer of criteria specifying the subset of subscribers who engaged with other emails in the sequence.

Best Choice: Both platforms have a lot to offer, but Mailchimp edges out the victory because of its more extensive list of segmentation choices.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #ContactManagement capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.
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6. Analytics and Reporting

Do you have any visibility into your marketing performance? What campaigns generated the most revenue? What day and time is most optimal to hit your list with a newsletter? Which channels are driving the most subscriptions?

Say hello to analytics and reporting. If marketing tools are the engine driving growth, analytics features are the steering wheel that points you in the right direction.

Constant Contact offers reports, but there aren’t many metrics you can track. List growth reports provide a table view in which you can drill down to see how contacts engaged with a specific campaign. Beyond that, your choices are pretty limited, putting Constant Contact at a disadvantage.

Mailchimp, however, goes the extra mile. Billed as a platform that helps your marketing be smarter, it has an analytics feature set to back up that claim. Google Analytics integration lets you measure email conversion rates and get a behind-the-scenes view of your contacts’ behavior on your website.

Mailchimp Google Analytics Integration

Campaign metrics derived from Mailchimp’s Google Analytics integration.

It also offers campaign-based graphs, so you can easily determine which ones are pulling their weight and which ones aren’t. Going a step further, you get access to industry benchmarks — handy for seeing how your marketing efforts compare to the industry at large.

Best Choice: Mailchimp earns the win for this round, thanks to its native Google Analytics integration and granular reporting capabilities.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #reporting functionality in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

7. Email Previews

We’ve all done it – hit “Send” on an email only to discover a glaring error afterward. Mistakes can add up over time, making it critical to be on top of your email game. Mailchimp and Constant Contact’s email preview tools are here to help.

With Constant Contact, you can preview emails in five different clients, including Gmail Apple products and MS Outlook 2013. However, previews are capped at five per month.

Mailchimp lets you preview up to 25 times in a month. And it offers testing for more than double the number of email clients, ranging from Apple and Android products to Gmail, Thunderbird, and MS Office and Outlook. It captures screenshots of how emails render based on the tool used and the device it’s viewed on, granting you a lot of control over making sure your layouts are spot-on.

One neat thing about Mailchimp is it allows you to go beyond checking for things like typos and wonky formatting. You can also get a color-blind preview so you know how your color palette will potentially strike readers.

Best Choice: Once again, Mailchimp comes out on top, outperforming Constant Contact on all capabilities.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #EmailPreviews in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

8. Personalization

If personalization is part of what you’re looking for, you’ll be glad to hear both products have you covered.

Merge tags – a standard email capability – let you customize info for each reader. Both products also contain content blocks, nifty tools that allow you to deliver different versions of your content in the same email, based on different audiences you’re reaching out to.

Mailchimp goes a step further, however, with its conditional merge tags: IF, ELSE, ELSEIF and IFNOT. These give you extra customization power you won’t find in Constant Contact.

Best Choice: Thanks to conditional merge tags, Mailchimp wins again.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #personalization features in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.
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9. Landing Pages

Email is great, but as a sole marketing tool, it’s not enough. Enter landing pages, a domain where Constant Contact and Mailchimp both deliver some solid options.

Leveraging Mailchimp, you can build landing pages for a variety of purposes, such as product promotions and lead generation efforts. It connects with Square, making it easy to accept payments. It also supports domain creation and management, and comes with drag-and-drop tools for building your pages, giving you an online presence without a lot of hassle.

Mailchimp Landing Page Templates

Some of the landing page templates available in Mailchimp.

Constant Contact also provides landing page tools so you can collect leads or create an online shop. The functionality is pretty basic and doesn’t give you a lot of room to edit the design beyond basic features like content, buttons and media. There’s also no custom domain option.

Constant Contact Web Design Interface

The website design interface in Constant Contact.

Best Choice: The domain capability provides Mailchimp with another win.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #LandingPages in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

10. Integrations

If you’re looking for third-party integration options, you’ll feel rich no matter which product you choose. As two popular platforms, Constant Contact and Mailchimp both play well with a lot of other major apps out there, everything from CRM software to e-commerce solutions to BI tools.

Some of the third-party products Mailchimp integrates with include:

Some popular integrations offered by Constant Contact include:

Best Choice: At the end of the day, this category goes to Contact Contact. It offers native integrations with more than 490 apps, while Mailchimp only supports around 240.

Advantage
Constant Contact rates better than Mailchimp for #integrations in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

11. Contact Import

Coming from another system or already have data stored that you need to import? Getting your contact info into Constant Contact and Mailchimp is relatively straightforward.

On the Mailchimp end, you can import text and CSV files. But if you’ve stored everything in an XLS or XLSX doc (read: spreadsheet), you have to take the manual copy/paste route.

Constant Contact, by contrast, lets you import contacts in several formats, including CSV, XLS, XLSX, text and vCard.

Best Choice: This round goes to Constant Contact.

Advantage
Constant Contact rates better than Mailchimp for #ContactImport capabilities in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

12. Image Storage Capacity

This one might have you scratching your head, but when considering email marketing tools, it’s definitely something you should pay attention to. Why? Some vendors put limits on how much you can store within the platform – and then charge you more if you need additional space.

Where do our contestants fall on this spectrum?

Mailchimp makes it simple: unlimited storage for images. That’s it. It also integrates with GIPHY, so if you’re the type to sneak a GIF or three into your emails, that’s a handy bonus feature.

Constant Contact only offers 2 GB of storage. Nothing to sneeze at, but still a far cry from unlimited. It also doesn’t integrate with GIPHY. Instead, it integrates with Bigstock for your image and GIF needs – with a catch: you have to pay to use them.

Best Choice: The obvious choice and winner in the storage department is Mailchimp.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact for #storage in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.
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Other Considerations Worth Comparing

Now that we’ve talked about key features, let’s take a look at some secondary aspects. After all, software is much more than the sum of its capabilities.

Price

If you’re in the market for a free solution, Mailchimp is your go-to choice. Signing up for the free version of the software will get you things like free reports, basic templates, signup forms and basic one-click automation. As far as limitations go, you can send a max of 10,000 emails per month and store up to 2,000 subscribers – not too shabby if you have a smaller operation. Furthermore, you can enjoy 30 days of email support from the vendor.

Constant Contact, by contrast, doesn’t have a freemium option. Your best bet is to take advantage of their 60-day free trial. Sure, it’s not the same as free software, but on the plus side, you get to take it for a test drive for 2-4x longer than trial periods typically last. On top of that, you have access to all features, so you can really put the system through the ropes to see if it can handle what you throw at it.

Best Choice: Given the free option, Mailchimp is the clear winner here.

Advantage
@Mailchimp rates better than Constant Contact on #pricing in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Customer Support

It’s easy to overlook vendor support, but that can make or break your experience. When something happens – because you know it will – you need to rely on the vendor to make it right.
On the Mailchimp side, you have access to 24/7 email and chat support. However, if you want phone support, you need to have a premium subscription and shell out $299 per month on top of your regular fees.

Constant Contact also delivers 24/7 chat and email support, and you can add on phone support even with the cheapest plan. It’s a reasonable $10 per month for the Starter plan, and only $20 per month if you have the Business Plus plan. You also have access to their community help portal.

Best Choice: Give those factors, Constant Contact is the better option when it comes to customer support.

Advantage
Constant Contact rates better than Mailchimp for #CustomerSupport in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.

Deliverability

When you send emails, you want to know they’ll get to the intended recipients and not die a painful death in the spam folder. Both systems are compliant with CASL and CAN-SPAM regulations, enabling them to achieve the following delivery rates:

  • Constant Contact: 97%
  • Mailchimp: 96–99%

Best Choice: Due to near identical deliverability and equal compliance assurances, this is a tie.

Advantage
Mailchimp and Constant Contact tie for #deliverability in SelectHub’s research & analysis of the two tools.
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And the Winner Is…

Mailchimp emerged victorious when compared across the 15 key requirements we looked at. It claimed the upper hand 10 times – and across many of the most critical features – making it the more attractive choice based on our analysis.

That said, no software is perfect, and a “winner” badge doesn’t guarantee a great fit. Despite its defeat, Constant Contact is one of the leading email marketing tools out there, and you may well find it suits your particular needs better than Mailchimp can.

Determining which solution fits your budget better is an essential factor, and while we touched on free options, we didn’t dig into the nitty-gritty pricing details. For a complete breakdown of costs, check out our free price guide, so you can be sure you’re getting everything you need in a system without breaking the bank in the process.

What features stood out most in our Constant Contact vs Mailchimp comparison? Which solution sounds like a better choice for your company? Let us know in the comments!

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Zachary TotahMailchimp vs Constant Contact: Which Email Marketing Tool is Best for You?

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