MailChimp vs. Constant Contact

by Ben Holse (He/Him)

MailChimp vs Constant Contact

MailChimp vs. Constant Contact: Which Works Best for Campaigns?

For campaigns, email is an important and cost effective means of communication. While I am not an email expert and do not have in depth knowledge of open rates, conversions, etc., I have worked with both the MailChimp and Constant Contact. In truth, both MailChimp and Constant Contact are fairly similar services and can both work within the confines of small to mid -sized campaigns. With that said, below is our assessment of which would work better for small campaigns, MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Unquestionably, price is a critical factor. And given the fact that campaigns often work on tight budgets, price is an important issue. Price also happens to be one of the major items that differentiate MailChimp from Constant Contact. MailChimp offers both a free and paid subscription service to the user. What’s more, MailChimp’s free service is actually pretty good and has a lot of options, making it very attractive for small campaigns. Constant Contact, however, only has a paid service, which is around $20-$45 a month, depending on the features you are interested in. 

Extra features
Both MailChimp and Constant Contact offer a number of cool extra features that could be useful for campaigns. For instance, MailChimp offers a RSS feed sender that pulls directly from a blog or RSS feed and can send out emails automatically at select intervals. What’s more they are really one of the only email services (that I’ve found) that offers this service. This can be useful if your campaign plans to produce regular content. Constant Contact offers a number of features beyond simply email, including a “text to sign up” option, in which users can text their email and automatically be enrolled in the campaign’s email.

Both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer the ability to customize and brand your email communication. Having used both services, my assessment is that it is easier to do customization and design within the Constant Contact system. The user interface is simply more straightforward and has the capacity to do a little more. With that said, anyone with enough time should be able to make pretty attractive looking emails in both systems.

Help and support
Help and support depend on the type of service you have. If you are using only a free version of MailChimp, then you have virtually no help and support options. If you are using a paid version of MailChimp, you do have the option to email customer support who can assist you within 24 hours. Constant Contact, however, has a number of different customer support options, including phone and email, which are regularly available to anyone with a subscription who has questions.

Your emails are only as good as your list. Both MailChimp and Constant Contact offers a signup forms that can easily be embedded within a campaign’s website. MailChimp, however, makes each new subscriber to an email list do a double opt in, meaning it will immediately email you and require you to confirm you have signed up to receive alerts. Though this does follow best practices in the email world, in the fast passed campaign world, this double opt in can tent to be a hindrance and even a little annoying. Constant Contact signup forms automatically enroll the user once they have signed up, which makes things easier for the user and the sender.

There you have it—all of the major differences between MailChimp and Constant Contact. So, given these factors, which would we suggest? Probably MailChimp. The free service is pretty good and though Constant Contact is generally a better system, its not that much better that you need to pay for it.

Have questions about MailChimp vs Constant Contact and other options for your campaign? drop us a note.