Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp: which email marketing software is best?

mailchimp vs constant contact

A strong email marketing tool is central to any company’s successful marketing strategy. With a system like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, you’re in the best position to build an email list and send engaging campaigns to guide contacts down your marketing funnel and towards being a long-term customer.

It’s not always easy to choose the best email marketing software for your business, however. To help you find the right tool, we’re comparing Constant Contact and Mailchimp: two of the industry’s most popular email services. Which one is right for your business right now and in the future?

Let’s weigh up the pros and cons with an in-depth comparison of the differences between Mailchimp and Constant Contact.


Feature comparison

Constant Contact and Mailchimp are two of the best email marketing tools for ease of use, but they earn this high regard for different reasons. Here’s our deep dive into some of the factors behind each tool’s usability and scope for top email marketing results.

 

List management

Although Mailchimp is simple to use, it isn’t always straightforward to keep your lists organized. You’re recommended to have one master list and use segments to determine which campaigns to send to a contact.

mailchimp list management

 

There’s also the difference between segments and tags to keep in mind: segments can be ready-made, custom or automated based on certain criteria, while tags are labels for contacts (for instance, "social media influencer").

With Constant Contact, organizing contacts tends to be cleaner and more intuitive.

constant contact list management

 

Email pro tip: Make sure you record the original source of a subscriber, such as signing up on your website, at a tradeshow or by downloading a resource. You need this record for data protection purposes – and it also helps you send the most personalized content.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for list management: Constant Contact keeps things simple when you need to manage lists of contacts.

 

Templates and design

Constant Contact customers often praise their easy-to-use templates and design features. It’s especially easy to drag and drop blocks from integrated tools like Eventbrite, Shopify, MINDBODY, or Contact Contact’s survey tool.

Constant Contact offers a lot of ready-made templates and designs for you to choose from. If you’re happy with something cookie-cutter rather than perfectly matched to your brand, that can be a real time-saver:

1. Designing your emails - CC

 

Mailchimp also has user-friendly design features, as well as a range of templates for you to browse. These tend to be a bit more polished than Constant Contact’s. They also offer great block-based templates for you to drag your own content in to keep things on-brand.

2. Designing your emails - MC

 

Email pro tip: Once you have a customized template or two you’re happy with, it’s simple to clone those emails and edit the copy in the future to send your emails faster.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for templates and design: It’s a tie - both tools offer great templates.

 

Reporting and analytics

Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer reporting and analytics dashboards, but they each have different strengths to consider here.

Constant Contact gives you all the key insights you need – including sends, bounces, open rates and click rates – on one simple graph.

5. Reporting - CC (1)

 

With Mailchimp, it’s easy to see open rates, click rates and even an industry average open rates (although it’s debatable how useful or accurate this is) all in one chart.

Unlike Constant Contact, you can’t hide certain metrics on Mailchimp reports. That might be annoying if you wanted to screenshot your reporting for a company slide deck, for instance.

6. Reporting - MC (1)

 

There’s a tab called “Revenue” on Mailchimp reports – this enables you to enhance your data with stats about the traffic and revenue generated by a campaign by integrating with Google Analytics.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for reporting and analytics: Mailchimp offers a more extensive reporting suite.

 

Automation

Your email marketing tool isn’t just for newsletters – to get the best value from it, you should be sending automated emails such as nurturing workflows too. This is possible with both Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

Automation is one area where Mailchimp edges ahead of Constant Contact. They offer the fullest automation suite at the lowest price point – you can access many of their automation features on their free plan (and yes, it’s really free).

automation mailchimp

 

Constant Contact gates their automation features (other than resends to “non-openers”) behind their Email Plus plan (from $45/month).

Here are some of the automation features you might want to use, with a comparison of what you’ll get from each tool:

Automate-your-emails-in-Constant-Contact

 

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for automation: Mailchimp offers more automation features at a lower price point.

 

A/B testing

Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow you to carry out A/B tests to experiment with different variations of your email and send the best option to subscribers.

With Constant Contact, you can only run tests on your subject line. Mailchimp offers a lot more scope for experimentation.

With Mailchimp's A/B testing, you can test up to three variations of your campaign – be it changes to subject line, body content, “from” field, send time, or any combination of the above. Before sending, you can specify how many people will receive the test version.

Mailchimp also offers multivariate testing, although this is only available on their Pro plan. What is multivariate testing? Simply put, it allows you to send up to 8 variations of your campaign.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for A/B testing: Mailchimp offers more options.

 

Extra features

Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact have some additional features beyond just email marketing and automation.

  • Survey tool: Constant Contact makes it easy to send surveys to your email list, giving you a choice between hosting online or embedding in an email. Mailchimp does enable use of merge tags for surveys, but otherwise you’ll need to integrate with SurveyMonkey. We recommend the Constant Contact survey tool if you’ll be sending them often.
  • Postcards: Mailchimp offers an unconventionally old-school tactic with their postcards feature. It’s not the most ecological, but you might prefer sending a fun postcard over more traditional direct mail advertising.
  • Donations: With Constant Contact, you can collect online donations securely and track donations on a custom landing page.
  • Facebook, Google and Instagram Ads: Mailchimp data shows that combining email with Google remarketing ads can boost your sales by an average of 107%. They also offer handy integrations for your Facebook and Instagram ads, so Mailchimp is better than Constant Contact if you’re looking for a holistic solution for a marketing team with a paid ads budget.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for extra features: It’s a tie, depending on what your business needs - each of these additional features might provide a specific added value that works for your niche.

 

Deliverability

When you’re choosing the best email marketing tool for your business, you need to be sure that your emails are actually going to be received by your contacts.

On the Constant Contact website, they claim that on average 98% of Constant Contact emails hit customers' inboxes – compared to 77% of regular emails (data from Return Path 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report). Constant Contact accepts that you might see a much lower delivery rate, especially in the beginning.

In Email Tool Tester’s recent research into email deliverability, Constant Contact was shown to have deliverability rates between 88 and 90.4. It’s hard to measure this accurately, though, as it can fluctuate so much.

However, based on these stats, Constant Contact has a higher average deliverability rate than Mailchimp.

ProviderDeliverability % Jan 2019Deliverability % July 2019Deliverability % Feb 2020
Constant Contact90.48889.4
Mailchimp81.690.681.6

*Email pro tip: improve your email deliverability by cleaning up old or incorrect emails that result in hard bounces.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for deliverability: Constant Contact has a higher average deliverability rate than Mailchimp as of February 2020.

 

Integrations

Your email marketing tool is just one of the apps in your software stack. For the best results, it needs to be integrated with your other tools, such as your CRM, ecommerce tools and other marketing apps.

Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact have native integrations with hundreds of other software applications.

If you run an ecommerce business, you will likely want to sync your email marketing tool with your ecommerce software, like Shopify or WooCommerce.

Mailchimp no longer has a direct connection to Shopify, as announced in a March 2019 statement. However, you can still keep contacts in Mailchimp and Shopify synced with PieSync to keep data moving between the two tools.

Constant Contact has built-in integration with Shopify, so ecommerce businesses might be more inclined to choose it over Mailchimp as their email tool.

In addition, Constant Contact has a great partnership with MINDBODY that thousands of their customers in the wellness sector benefit from. If you host events, they also have an Eventbrite connection, enabling you to drag event blocks directly into emails.

11. Integrations - CC (1)

 

Both tools are supported by PieSync to keep your contacts synced between your tech stack two-ways and in real time.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for integrations: It’s a draw. Mailchimp is a great all-rounder - but if you’re using Shopify, Eventbrite or MINDBODY, you might prefer Constant Contact. Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact are supported by PieSync for two-way, real-time syncs.

 

Customer service

If support and customer service are important to you, Constant Contact is our top choice. Whenever you’re using the tool, you’ll see a contact number and “Contact Us” button in the top navigation, so you can easily give them a call or open a ticket:

7. Customer service - CC

 

If you choose Mailchimp, getting hold of their support team can be more of a struggle. Mailchimp only offers phone support on Premium plans, which helps them keep their prices down. As a free user, you only have access to a support email address for the first 30 days, while paid users can contact customer service 24/7 via their support chat or email.

As Mailchimp is such a popular tool, you’re likely to find the answer to most queries with a quick Google search. However, if phone support is important to you, opt for Constant Contact – their phone support is often cited as a pro on review sites like Capterra.

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for customer service? Constant Contact offers more accessible customer service.


Price comparison of Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact

Mailchimp’s pricing page advertises “Tools for pros. Prices for everyone.” Mailchimp’s most popular plan is their Free plan, which allows you to store up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month.

Constant Contact, on the other hand, doesn’t have a free plan. It does have a 30-day free trial, but that’s not a long-term solution for your business – your minimum monthly spend afterward will be $20/month.

When comparing the basic plans of Mailchimp and Constant Contact, Mailchimp wins on every metric other than the number of emails you can send per month (12,000 versus no limit with Constant Contact).

While you can get started with the Mailchimp Free plan, you’ll eventually need to upgrade to the Essentials plan (from $9.99/month) if you have more than 2,000 subscribers on your list or you want to remove Mailchimp branding from your emails. You can also optimize your send time, deliver by time zone, get insights into audience demographics and access email and chat support.

pricing mailchimp

 

Mailchimp starts getting expensive as your list gets bigger, especially if you need premium support, advanced segmentation and multivariate testing. These features are all gated behind their Pro plan, starting at $199/month based on your list size.

To access all of Constant Contact’s features with the Email Plus plan, you’ll be paying upwards of $45/month depending on your list size. If you have 2,000 contacts, you’re looking at $70/month.

pricing contant contact

 

Pricing comparison of Mailchimp vs Constant Contact per number of contacts (paid monthly)

Contant Contact pricingMailchimp pricing
For 0-500 contacts$20/moFree
For 501-2,000 contacts$45/moFree
For 2,001-5,000 contacts$45 - $65/mo$29.99 - $49.99/mo
For 5,001-10,000 contacts$95/mo$49.99 - $74.99/mo
For 10,001-25,000 contacts$195 - $225/mo$74.99 - $189/mo
For 25,000 + contactsFrom $295/moFrom $189/mo

The verdict on Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact for value for money: Mailchimp.


Summary: When to choose Constant Contact or Mailchimp

When comparing Mailchimp and Constant Contact side-by-side, each email tool clearly has its own stand-out features. As you choose your email provider, it’s about deciding which benefits are most important to you.

Mailchimp tends to be a better choice than Constant Contact if you’re cost-conscious, need advanced reporting features, and want more extensive automation and A/B testing.

However, if deliverability rates, ease of use and customer service really matter to you, Constant Contact may be the best choice for you.

When to choose MailchimpWhen to choose Constant Contact
For a fantastic brand experienceFor simple list management
If you're looking for an extensive reporting suiteIf top-performing deliverability is essential to you
For a range of automation features to fit your price pointFor the most accessible customer support on lower price plans
If you want the most value at the lowest price point (or free)If you're looking for a very easy-to-use platform

 

Looking for other email marketing platforms to compare with Mailchimp? Check our comparison posts with other popular apps:

 

Whichever email marketing tool you use, boost productivity and help your tools work together with two-way contact syncs between your go-to apps using PieSync.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.