Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp: a Feature-by-Feature Comparison (2021)

If you’re reading this, then you probably know email marketing is an essential tool for any business.

If you didn’t know that, let me be the first to inform you: Email should be a major component of your marketing strategy.

In fact, research consistently finds that email marketing has a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other form of marketing. It can help you grow your audience, send traffic to your online store, drive sales, connect with customers, support event marketing, and so much more.

To succeed at email marketing, you’ll need the help of an email marketing service. Constant Contact and Mailchimp are two of the most popular email newsletter software tools around.

Constant Contact has operated since 1995, long before email marketing was even on the business world’s radar. Today, the platform caters to medium and small businesses as well as nonprofits. The brand has a much smaller audience than Mailchimp, but its fans tend to be devoted.

Mailchimp is about six years younger than Constant Contact, but it’s captured more of the market share. This email industry behemoth is practically synonymous with email marketing, and it also offers all-in-one marketing solutions. It’s a highly sophisticated platform that caters to SMBs.

Both brands have high customer ratings, and both tools bring a lot to the table. Will one of these service providers meet your business needs? Read this in-depth comparison to find out!

Introducing Constant Contact and Mailchimp

Before we dive into a side-by-side comparison of Constant Contact and Mailchimp, let’s get to know these two platforms. Here’s a quick overview of what they’re all about.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular all-in-one marketing platforms around.

The platform helps more than 11 million customers—yes, more than 11 million—market their business through a variety of tools, including email campaigns, social media, digital ads, landing pages, printed postcards, and more.

The email marketing behemoth has honed its tools over the years to offer a ton of functionality and value for the price.

Some of Mailchimp’s key features include:

  • Attractive and extensive pre-designed templates
  • Stellar automation options
  • In-depth analytics and reporting
  • Strong A/B Testing tools
  • Advanced segmentation tools that make CRM and list management a breeze
  • Straightforward and modern-looking user interface
  • Customizable signup forms
  • Unlimited image uploads

Pros of Mailchimp

  • Advanced email automation
  • Highly advanced reporting and analytics including geo-tracking, social media reports, click maps, success stats per email provider, ecommerce conversion tracking, and more
  • Nested segmentation
  • Dynamic email content
  • Near-endless customization options
  • Knowledge base of self-help articles
  • Hundreds of integrations with the likes of Salesforce, WooCommerce, Canva, Zapier, Google Analytics, and WordPress
  • A free plan option for businesses on a budget
  • Email deliverability rate of 96% to 99%

Cons of Mailchimp

  • Doesn’t integrate with Shopify (unless you use a third-party integration)
  • Customer support is limited to premium plans

Curious how Mailchimp stacks up against other brands? Check out previous detailed comparisons of Mailerlite vs Mailchimp or Sendinblue vs Mailchimp.

Constant Contact

Compared to Mailchimp’s ~11 million users, Constant Contact holds a much smaller piece of the email marketing pie—but it’s still one of the largest email marketing platforms in the world. It’s also one of Mailchimp’s biggest competitors. The company serves more than 600,000 customers and counting.

The suite of tools on Constant Contact is tailored toward SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises). It’s primarily designed to help smaller brands grow their audience and engagement. The company also caters to nonprofits via a discount program.

Some of Constant Contact’s key features include:

  • Email marketing features including online surveys, polls, product and coupons embeds, and more
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Email and social campaign integration
  • Extensive template options
  • List building tools
  • Landing page and web building tools

Pros of Constant Contact

  • Approximately 200 email templates to choose from
  • Integration with approximately 350 apps
  • Free trial doesn’t require a credit card
  • Email deliverability rate of 97%
  • Robust customer support
  • A Website Builder plan that includes web hosting and supports businesses who need to build a site or online store before using email marketing
  • Discounted plans for nonprofits

Cons of Constant Contact

  • Limited automation capabilities
  • Extremely limited A/B testing tools
  • Pricing plans can be confusing and expensive
  • No free plan

Learn more about other Constant Contact competitors.

Mailchimp vs Constant Contact: The Fundamentals

Now that you know the basics of both Constant Contact and Mailchimp, it’s time to pit these two platforms head-to-head. Let’s dive in with a look at their email marketing fundamentals.

Email Marketing Software Tools

Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer user-friendly email campaign builders as well as a variety of ready-to-use templates. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to build a well designed email with either of these tools.

Let’s take a closer look at each platform’s email builder.

Mailchimp Email Campaign Builder

Mailchimp’s drag and drop campaign builder removes a lot of the guesswork from building an email campaign while offering extensive customization options.

You’ll have your pick of templates for regular email campaigns, automated email campaigns, or text-only email. You can also create a custom email sans template.

The regular email campaign tools allow you to select a layout and theme from a variety of options. Then, you’ll have a chance to edit the appearance of virtually every part of the email, including the preheader, body, footer, color, font, height, spacing, images, social share buttons, and more. Mailchimp suggests a subject line that should produce the best results, but you can also customize the subject line.

The automated email campaign tools are especially useful for saving time and energy. You can choose from different automated scenarios including Features, Tags, Subscriber Activity, Ecommerce, Data-Based (e.g. Birthday Campaigns), and API.

You can also create onboarding and educational sequences if you upgrade to a paid plan. The free plan only allows for single email campaigns.

If you have questions at any stage of the campaign build, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s in-app messaging. Hover over any block in the builder and you’ll see a note about that block’s purpose as well as how to perform the next action.

Once you’ve created an email campaign, you can share a test email with your team so they can offer feedback before you send the email to your list. They can add comments within Mailchimp; those will appear in the Comments box in the email builder. This is a unique feature that facilitates communication.

Mailchimp offers a variety of tools when it comes to tagging and segmentation. You can select from ready-made segments based on campaign activity, customer actions, purchase activity, gender, age range, and much more.

You can also layer up to five segmentation criteria and merge tags for hyper-focused marketing.

All told, Mailchimp offers highly advanced segmentation tools.

Constant Contact Campaign Builder

Like Mailchimp, Constant Contact offers a huge variety of templates to easily kick off your campaign.

The drag and drop editor allows you to customize the templates by adding your own images, videos, polls, social sharing options, and more.

The ‘Action Blocks’ feature lets ecommerce brands embed product recommendations and coupons in their emails. This can significantly increase traffic to an online store.

Constant Contact also has a nifty function that lets you customize the email to your brand’s color scheme just by adding the URL of your website.

Like Mailchimp, Constant Contact allows you to test an email before sending it. You can see how the email will look in different email clients such as Gmail or Outlook. Note that some plans limit how many clients you can test each month.

When it comes to segmentation, Constant Contact isn’t as refined as Mailchimp. Still, it does offer some useful functions.

For instance, it lets you create segments based on customer behaviors such as opens and clicks.

Final Verdict: Mailchimp

While Constant Contact offers more templates and customization, Mailchimp wins out thanks to its refined options for segmentation.

High-quality segmentation is one of the best ways to create effective email marketing campaigns, and Mailchimp really delivers in this regard.

Email Templates

As I’ve noted, both Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer a variety of email templates that make it easier to build a quality campaign.

Since these templates will have a big impact on your campaign build, let’s take a closer look at the options on both platforms.

Constant Contact Templates

Constant Contact offers even more templates than Mailchimp—240, to be exact.

These templates are categorized by theme. This makes it easy to search for occasion-specific templates and find a design that will appeal to your email list.

All of the platform’s templates are mobile-friendly and can be edited using a drag and drop editor. You can customize different elements to your branding, including the background, colors, and fonts.

Craving even more customization? You can use HTML templates to control more of an email’s design. You can also upload your own PDF designs.

Mailchimp Templates

Mailchimp offers nearly 100 email templates. There should be an option to suit a variety of campaigns and aesthetic preferences. It’s worth noting that the free plan only includes 8 of these templates.

The templates are segmented into categories including ecommerce, events, holidays, photography, and so on, which makes it easy to navigate through the various options.

All of the templates in Mailchimp’s suite are customizable, mobile-responsive, and can be saved for later use.

If you’ve browsed all of the ~100 templates and still can’t find what you’re looking for, no worries. You can upload your own template to the platform or create your own using custom codes.

Final Verdict: Constant Contact

Purely from a numbers standpoint, Constant Contact is the winner here.

It offers more than twice the number of templates available on Mailchimp, with plenty of options for customization.

Automation Features and Personalization

Constant Contact Automation Features

Constant Contact doesn’t have a ton of automation options.

It does allow you to automate basic emails such as anniversary emails, birthday emails, and welcome emails. So you can automatically send a follow-up email to a customer in limited scenarios.

You can also create an automated series based on customer behaviors.

It’s worth noting that none of these automation tools are available on the lowest-tier plan.

Mailchimp Automation Features

Automation is a strong suit for Mailchimp’s paid plans. The platform allows you to create a variety of autoresponders, single-step automation, and adaptable customer journeys.

You can let Mailchimp’s automation tool determine the best time to send the email(s) or you can manually schedule send times.

You can even integrate Mailchimp with your website. This lets you send emails to your audience based on their activity on your site.

Additional automation features include:

  • Transaction Emails, which allow you to send event-driven emails including targeted ecommerce and personalized one-to-one messages
  • Retargeted Ads for Facebook, Instagram, and/or Google
  • Recurring postcard campaigns that send coupons, reminders, and other messages
  • Behavior-Based Automation based on how a customer(s) interacts with your brand’s communications
  • Data-Based Automation for birthdays, anniversaries, and so on

Final Verdict: Mailchimp

There’s no doubt about it: Mailchimp offers much more robust automation tools.

Learn more about email automation in a previous roundup of best email automation software.

A/B Testing

Constant Contact A/B Testing

Constant Contact’s Email Plus plan allows users to A/B test subject lines—but that’s it. The lower-tier plans don’t even offer A/B testing for subject lines.

If you want to A/B test any other aspects of your email, the process is very time-consuming. You’ll need to manually create multiple versions of the same email and create your own segments. This will require dividing up your existing list and creating two new contact lists. There’s no easy way to split test email copy, images, and so on.

Mailchimp A/B Testing

Mailchimp incorporates strong A/B testing functionality into all of its plans. You can easily test subject lines, send times, sender names, copy, and more.

You can also choose whether you want to test just a percentage of your list or the entire list. You get to select the metric(s) that matters to you most—for example, click rate, open rate, and so on.

The free plan allows you to send up to three variations of an email to different segments. This lets you test and compare several variations at once.

The Premium paid plan allows you to run A/B testing for combinations of multiple variables. This gives you an extremely detailed look at your campaign’s performance.

Final Verdict: Mailchimp

Mailchimp’s A/B testing features make it easy to test multiple versions of an email simultaneously.

In contrast, A/B testing anything other than subject lines with Constant Contact requires significantly more time and effort.

Ease of Use

Constant Contact Ease of Use

Overall, Constant Contact is very user-friendly.

The platform tailors its dashboard to your level of familiarity with email marketing in general and Constant Contact specifically. It will ask you some questions the first time you log in, and then tailor the display accordingly.

The design templates do a lot of the work for you, and the drag and drop interface makes it easy to customize the look of your emails.

Another factor related to ease of use is customer support. Constant Contact offers email support, live chat, and phone support (six days a week) as well as a knowledge base. The company also hosts training events in person and online.

All of these resources can make it easier to use the platform.

Mailchimp Ease of Use

Mailchimp is also very user-friendly overall. It provides a checklist interface to help you conceptualize the steps needed to complete an email marketing campaign.

Mailchimp’s editor has a modern design that makes it easy to navigate. Like Constant Contact, it uses drag and drop tools that let you customize the look of your emails.

Mailchimp does have more advanced features than Constant Contact, so there’s more to learn and the learning curve is a little steeper. The abundant user tutorials help with this.

Mailchimp doesn’t shine when it comes to customer service.

Free plan users don’t have access to any customer support. Instead, they’ll need to source answers to any questions from Mailchimp’s extensive knowledge base of articles.

Paid plans offer 24/7 email and live chat support. Phone support is only available to users on the Premium plan.

Final Verdict: Tie

Both Constant Contact and Mailchimp are easy to navigate.

Constant Contact offers better customer service, while Mailchimp has a more modern interface and enhanced functionality.

Pricing Plans

Constant Contact Pricing

Constant Contact has four pricing plans. Here’s an overview:

  • Website Builder – flat rate of $10/month for website and landing page creation, list-building tools, social media marketing, ecommerce store and transactional emails
  • Email – starting at $20/month for fewer than 500 contacts (tiered pricing depends on audience size). This plan features email marketing tools including unlimited email marketing templates, subject line A/B testing, and hundreds of integrations
  • Email Plus – starting at $45/month for fewer than 500 contacts (tiered pricing depends on audience size). This plan offers enhanced email marketing tools including automation, surveys, polls, coupons, customized pop-up forms, and more
  • Ecommerce Pro – starting at $195/month (depending on the number of contacts). This high-level plan includes AI-powered optimization and segmentation, subject line recommendations, 20+ marketing automation playbooks, and more

You can try out a plan on Constant Contact for 60 days for free.

Mailchimp Pricing

Like Constant Contact, Mailchimp has four pricing plans. But they’re structured very differently.

Here’s the basic info for each plan:

  • Free – $0 for up to 2,000 contacts and limited templates
  • Essentials – $10/month for up to 50,000 contacts
  • Standard – $15/month for up to 100,000 contacts
  • Premium – $303/month for 200,000+ contacts
  • The platform does not offer a free trial for its premium plans.

Final Verdict: Mailchimp

Constant Contact’s convoluted pricing plan is hard to navigate. And most of the time, its plans end up being significantly more expensive than Mailchimp’s. It also doesn’t offer a free plan, and the lowest priced plan doesn’t offer much in the way of email marketing tools.

Mailchimp’s plans are much more straightforward, and they offer a lot more bang for the buck. Plus, there’s a free plan with decent functionality, so there’s an option for any budget.

Working with a limited budget? Be sure to check out my roundup of 10 free email marketing software options.

Constant Contact vs Mailchimp: Who’s the Winner?

Alright, we’ve reached the end of the Constant Contact vs Mailchimp showdown! So which email marketing platform has emerged victorious?

It probably won’t come as a surprise that Mailchimp is the overall winner. The platform wins handily in most of the categories I analyzed.

That said, the best email marketing tool depends on the person using it. Constant Contact has a lot to offer, even if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Mailchimp.

Ultimately, the right platform for you comes down to your brand’s needs and your personal preferences.

Choose Constant Contact If…

  • You need to build a website and landing pages before you’re ready to launch email marketing campaigns
  • You prioritize customer support (especially if you want phone support)
  • You want more template options

Choose Mailchimp If…

  • You want access to advanced features
  • You want extremely detailed reporting and analytics tools that will help you take your email marketing campaigns to the next level
  • You want to create highly customized campaigns

Laura Newcomer

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