As a blogger, you have started to develop a strong name and identity and are creating lots of great content for your audience to enjoy. Sometimes a reader might find you through a search engine or through social media, and might only read one or two posts before leaving.
You want to keep readers coming back again and again to enjoy your new content, and the best way to do this is through email. Using email marketing tools, you can set up a weekly or monthly newsletter, automated campaigns like alerts for your latest blog post, and even create opt-ins to attract your readers to subscribe.
In this article we’ll take a look at two popular email marketing service providers, Constant Contact and MailChimp, and compare them to see which is the best option for bloggers.
When comparing software solutions one of the first details to look at is often the price – especially if you’re just starting a blog or want to keep your monthly costs low to maximise profit.
Both MailChimp and Constant Contact offer monthly subscription services, meaning you can sign up on a month by month basis and change your plan as your mailing list grows.
Let’s take a look at their pricing and packages (as of August 2018).
MailChimp Plans and Pricing
MailChimp offers a generous “Forever Free” plan. On this plan you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month for free, which is perfect for if you’re new to email marketing for your blog.
The plan has some limitations — there’s no ongoing support beyond the first 30 days and there are some branding and testing options that aren’t included, but it’s a great plan for beginners or bloggers with a small email list.
For MailChimp’s paid plans, the pricing reflects the number of subscribers on your email list. Starting at $10 per month for up to 500 subscribers, the paid plan offers extra support, custom branding, and the ability to send unlimited emails per month (subject to the usual fair use). To estimate your monthly cost based on your subscriber count you can use their pricing calculator.
MailChimp also offers a Pro Add-on for $199 per month, which is a good option if you require enhanced support, advanced segmentation, and comparative reports.
All MailChimp plans include standard features, including:
- Email campaigns
- Customizable templates
- Landing pages
- Sign-up forms
- Marketing automation
- Segmentation and groups
- Basic reports
- A/B testing
- Apps and integrations
Constant Contact Plans and Pricing
Unlike MailChimp, Constant Contact doesn’t offer a free plan. This might make it less attractive if you’re on a budget or want to keep those initial costs low while you build your blog audience and subscriber list. The company does offer a free trial, which varies between 30 and 60 days depending on promotions.
Constant Contact’s “Email” plan starts at $20 per month and allows you to send unlimited emails to your subscribers. The exact monthly cost is based on your subscriber count, and to see what your monthly cost would be, check their sign-up page.
Included in this plan are the tools you need to create and monitor email campaigns, including:
- Email campaigns
- Contact management
- List building tools
- Tracking and reporting
- Customizable templates
- Marketing calendar
- Email scheduling
- Apps and integrations
If you need email automation or A/B testing you’ll need to upgrade to the “Email Plus” plan which starts at $45 per month and is based on the size of your subscriber list.
Compare Pricing Side-by-Side
With both companies offering similar paid plans, here is a side-by-side comparison of monthly costs based on different subscriber counts:
|Subscriber Count||MailChimp (per month)||Constant Contact (per month)|
Constant Contact vs. MailChimp Pricing: the Winner
When it comes to picking a winner on price in the MailChimp vs. Constant Contact battle, our vote has to be MailChimp. Their “Forever Free” plan is perfect for new bloggers or those with a small subscriber list, and their monthly costs are lower than Constant Contact’s — especially if your list grows beyond 5,000 to 10,000.
Design and Templates
Both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer you a choice from a wide range of templates, as well as the ability to build your own template or customize an existing one. This means that whichever email marketing software you go with, you have the opportunity to create an email template or design that suits your blog and your goals. Both companies offer a drag and drop design interface, making designing easy.
Email Campaign Types
One of the first ways you can introduce email marketing as a blogger is to send your new blog posts to subscribers automatically using a service called RSS. New blog posts are added to your RSS feed and distributed via your email marketing software.
MailChimp offers this facility as standard and within the “Forever Free” plan, but to get this running with Constant Contact you’d need to make use of an integration like Zapier.
Another popular way to keep your audience engaged is by sending a weekly or monthly newsletter. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp make this easy for you, with the ability to create and schedule email campaigns included as a key feature.
You can also create and schedule one-off campaigns, like if you wanted to promote a specific blog post as part of a sponsored collaboration or to promote a new product or service.
A popular way to attract readers and keep them engaged is to create an opt-in. When a visitor opts in to emails on your site, they get an automated email offering to send them a product or freebie, followed by a sequence that introduces your blog or a particular product or service you’re promoting.
Email automation is included with all MailChimp plans, however, with Constant Contact you’d need to upgrade to their “Email Plus” plan to unlock full automation features.
When creating campaigns to promote a product or service, or to attract maximum engagement from your newsletter, you might want to test a few different headlines to see which is the most engaging. This is called A/B testing. It allows you to then send the remaining emails with the most engaging headline, resulting in better results.
A/B testing is currently included with all MailChimp plans, including “Forever Free.” To unlock A/B testing in Constant Contact you need to subscribe to their “Email Plus” plan, starting at $45 per month.
With so many different aspects to blogging, it’s important that software we invest in plays nicely with other software we use.
Constant Contact and MailChimp both boast hundreds of integrations with apps and other software, including CRM systems like Salesforce and Magento, competition widgets like Gleam, and many other useful blog and business services. MailChimp has a larger integrations library, with popular apps including Gmail, Shopify, Outlook, and Woocommerce.
To check if your apps and services are compatible you can view MailChimp’s integrations or Constant Contact’s integrations.
Once you’ve designed your email campaign you want to make sure it’s going to reach the inboxes of your subscribers instead of landing in their spam folder or even being blacklisted.
Bloggers have run tests with MailChimp standing out as a clear winner when it comes to deliverability — 79 percent of email campaigns land in the subscriber’s inbox compared to 61 percent from Constant Contact.
After you’ve sent your emails you’ll want to be able to check on their progress, including open rates and activity from subscribers.
This is easy to do with MailChimp and Constant Contact, with both offering basic analytics including tracking clicks, opens, and revenue goals you’ve set.
MailChimp users will find their analytics suite much more detailed, with the ability to see which links were the most clicked within a campaign, what time of day your subscribers are active and other data like geography and social shares.
Constant Contact vs. MailChimp Features and Functionality: the Winner
There’s another clear winner here in the Constant Contact vs. MailChimp battle, with MailChimp winning in this round. It boasts more blogger-friendly features and the detailed analytics are extremely useful for improving your email marketing strategy further.
While it may be less important than the technical side of email marketing or being able to create campaigns that achieve your goals, your own user experience of the software still matters. In this section we look at the interface and behind the scenes, as well as what you can expect in terms of customer service and support.
Learning new software and tools can be difficult, which is why a clear, easy-to-use interface and dashboard can make all the difference.
You won’t be disappointed with either MailChimp or Constant Contact, with both offering an intuitive experience for users. From our experience and talking to other bloggers, the simplicity and uncluttered approach from MailChimp is appreciated — with some mentioning that they found Constant Contact to have a steeper learning curve. MailChimp’s clean design allows you to focus on creating and running great email campaigns.
If email marketing is new to you, chances are you’ll want to reach out for support at some point. For more experienced bloggers or those with a background in marketing, dedicated customer support may be less of a necessity.
Both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer FAQs and help or knowledge base sections, covering topics with helpful answers in written or video form. Users on the “Forever Free” plan with MailChimp have no access to support, and the company doesn’t provide phone support, meaning it may not be the best option for you if you prefer to call someone and talk through a problem. Constant Contact, on the other hand, offers a range of support options on all plans including phone and 24/7 live chat, making it a great choice for bloggers who want to be able to speak to someone.
Constant Contact vs. MailChimp User Experience: the Winner
So who wins this round? Our vote this time is with Constant Contact, as a clear winner in offering a support system that’s accessible and more in-depth. If you’re happy with email support, a paid plan from MailChimp would still work well for you.
Key Features of Constant Contact vs. MailChimp
Let’s delve into some of the most impressive features that Constant Contact and MailChimp offer to their customers.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media is a diverse resource when it comes to marketing, especially since there are numerous platforms. Whether you’re looking for better outreach on Facebook or Twitter, both Constant Contact and MailChimp can help.
Let’s delve into the unique social media marketing tools that both platforms have to offer.
Social Share is the tool that Constant Contact offers, which allows you to connect your social media to your account. You’ll be able to promote your company via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. There’s also the opportunity to manage your posting schedule, allowing you to post multiple times daily.
As an added benefit, Constant Contact also provides a specialty service known as the Social Media Quickstarter. It’s an essential option for beginners interested in testing functionality across their socials. With Quickstarter’s help, you can get started on an assortment of platforms with ease.
MailChimp also has a prime number of services designed to assist you with social media management. You can focus on Instagram ads, Facebook ads, organic posting, and more.
The primary focus of their social media planning is to help you reach a larger audience while managing analytics reporting. Depending on the marketing tools you need, you’ll need to consider the basic plans they offer.
Each plan has different pricing and can include benefits such as:
- Unlimited phone support
- Behavioral targeting
- Custom templates
- Dynamic content
- Custom branding
When you’re creating marketing materials, having access to top-quality content is of the utmost importance. Both platforms are helpful whether you’re on the hunt for stock images or a seamless creative experience.
Let’s go over some of the most notable design elements you’ll find with both MailChimp and Constant Contact.
One of the major reasons users enjoy Constant Contact is that they have an assortment of aesthetically pleasing images. With the help of their templates, you can create high-quality content for your email list with little experience. You won’t have to worry about having coding knowledge or a trove of personal images; everything is built into the platform.
At this time, there are over 250 professionally designed templates that you can use as-is or with customizations. Also, it’s important to note that each of the templates is mobile responsive, helping to save you time and effort.
With the perfect subject lines, you can draw potential customers in, but your email content is what makes them stay. MailChimp, like Constant Contact, has plenty of top-quality templates that you can use for marketing materials. There are over 100 customizable templates that can help you get a head start on spreading brand awareness.
When logged in, you’ll be able to create and send emails from anywhere using their mobile app. Also, you can monitor email deliverability, including deliverability rate, through the app.
This feature is one of the most valuable tools for business owners and individuals constantly on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is the Best Alternative to MailChimp?
There’s no doubt that the best alternative to MailChimp is Constant Contact in several ways, like deliverability rate. Constant Contact pricing is affordable, especially with the amount of content you receive with your plan.
As mentioned, there are two preliminary plans with features including:
- Monthly email sends
- Sign-up forms
- Numerous apps
- Seamless integration
- Industry-specific templates
- New customer consults
- Contact list importing
- Dynamic content
- Automated features
2. Is Constant Contact Better Than MailChimp?
When discussing MailChimp vs Constant Contact, it’s essential to compare tools and pricing. Both platforms offer several impressive features for all of your marketing needs. However, Constant Contact can be more expensive depending on the packages you choose.
MailChimp has a free option, allowing you to access multiple tools to grow your audience quickly. You’ll also find their plans range from $0 to $299, while Constant Contact only has two programs available.
On the other hand, Constant Contact has a more diverse collection of email templates suitable for any business.
In our opinion, based on ease of use and available features, MailChimp is the sure winner.
3. Who Uses Constant Contact?
Constant Contact is a valuable program that allows business owners and marketing professionals to manage their materials with a trial period. It has smart features, such as a smart editor, to help you create effective campaigns with a low bounce rate. It also offers plenty of creative ingenuity when crafting product recommendations and managing your contacts.
4. Is There a Free Version of Constant Contact?
One of the most significant differences between MailChimp vs Constant Contact is that it doesn’t have a feature-packed free account. Instead, users can sign up for a free trial account to test out the features of the Email or Email Plus subscriptions.
If you’re looking for plenty of tools at a reasonable rate, we highly recommend MailChimp.
Email marketing is increasingly becoming one of the best ways to communicate with and grow your blog audience. The ability to send newsletters, create automated sequences for opt-in freebies, and send your blog posts automatically can really help to encourage repeat visits to your blog.
Through our research and comparisons above, our clear winner and our email marketing software of choice for bloggers is MailChimp. Their free plan makes email marketing for bloggers really accessible and their pricing is consistently lower than Constant Contact. We also liked the fact that most features are available within all plans, meaning you don’t need to commit to a large monthly cost to start building your subscriber list effectively.
Constant Contact may be a more attractive option if a high level of quality support is important to you, as this is an area where users have experienced some frustration with MailChimp. For most bloggers, we’d recommend MailChimp as a great place to start building your subscriber list and creating more traffic to your blog.
It’s Time to Grow Your Audience
We hope this guide has helped you to choose the right email marketing software for your blog. If you have an idea for a new blog but haven’t started yet, visit our guide to the best free blogging sites in 2021.