Just like underwear when it comes to email marketing there are several different options. And most folks have a strong opinion. If you don’t (yet), now worries, we can help you choose which one is best for your business! As with many things, it starts with being informed. And while it would be far more entertaining to discuss the merits of Boxers vs. Briefs the purpose of this post is to discuss two of the most popular platforms of email marketing: Constant Contact and MailChimp.
There are many differences and similarities with both email campaigns. MailChimp is often described as more user friendly and fun, while Constant Contact focuses on a more elegant and elaborate interface. Constant Contact has been in the industry a lot longer, while MailChimp is a relatively new competitor in the industry. Although CyberKazoo typically uses Constant Contact for our clients, we have experience with MailChimp as well. More important than which platform you choose is the fact that you are committing to using email as a way to communicate with your contacts and drive traffic to your site.
MailChimp is hands down less expensive. It is free for up to 2000 contacts, and for 12,000 sends per month. This is not just a trial period, it is truly free for the first 2000 subscribers. As an added convenience, there is no deadline for when these subscribers need to be added. The free plan includes basic reporting and data insights, which can help improve campaigns in the future. There is an option to upgrade the account to a paid account, which includes more features, such as automation, trigger based emails and support. The paid account is based on how many total contacts you have uploaded, but is cheap and a worthwhile investment.
Constant Contact comes with a free trial, but this expires in 60 days for up to 100 names. This is enough time to decide whether the tool makes sense for you and whether it is in alignment with your business goals. Pricing options are available based on how many contacts you have uploaded. Although Constant Contact is more expensive on average, each plan comes with superior customer support, access to user communities and instructional resources, a mobile app, and social media resources.
In depth reports are available in the free version of Mail Chimp. This is a big deal. Most companies charge to see results, which are essential in monitoring progress and improving strategy. Mailchimp also takes the one step farther, by often allowing businesses to compare the success of their campaigns to the industry averages. On average, the reports are seen as more user friendly and easy to interpret.
Constant Contact also includes detailed reports. They focus on the main points and standard formats, which includes how many emails were opened, which links were followed, unsubscribes, bounce rate, etc.. The mobile app can also be used to view the reports, which is a plus from a convenience standpoint.
Editing Capabilities & Deliverability
MailChimp & Constant Contact can both be edited on the go. MailChimp snap allows you to take a picture and turn it into a campaign to send to your entire contact list within minutes. This is ideal for bloggers! Capture an image, add some text and send. Both have great templates to choose from. For this reason, we think MailChimp is better for creating on the fly layouts. Constant Contact is generally better for building and modifying consistent templates.The navigation is smoother, and it includes more options.
One other vital aspect of a good email tool is deliverability. Deliverability is how many of the overall emails actually make it to the user’s inbox, rather than being filtered out as spam. This is another area where Constant Contact tends to outperform MailChimp. Over time, it is likely that MailMonkey’s delivery rate will improve, but for now, the established presence of Constant Contact is a more reliable method.