Email marketing: One of the most surprisingly effective methods of gaining attention for your company that actually translates to new sales. Even though it was one of the first uses that people found for the Internet, email has somehow kept some momentum from the 90s, to the present day.
Now, it has come back in a big way with the development of online marketing technology, which marries perfectly with email. If you’re of the mind that email is dead, then you need to disabuse yourself of that idea. Email marketing, along with the automation provided by a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, is one of the best drivers of sales currently available.
Both of these providers have roughly the same tools and functions to inspire increased web traffic for your business, but each one has its own advantages. Let’s see which one comes out ahead.
Bang for Your Buck
Firstly, Mailchimp has a completely free, “Forever Free” plan that may have everything you need without even signing on to a paid plan. They give you quite a bit of features and automations on their free plan, and in fact, the automations they offer are all included with any plan. Check out these automations that are included free with Mailchimp:
Up to 2,000 subscribers are also included free (as long as you don’t go over 12,000 emails/month), as well as unlimited users. To send unlimited emails, no matter how many subscribers you have, there is a charge for that.
You will get plenty of automations and other features with Constant Contact, but you are going to need to be on a paid plan to access them. To even start using the service, the cost is $20/month at a minimum. In addition, automation features are not available on their entry-level plan; the “Plus” plan is required for access to any automations (which are kind of the whole point), or things like A/B testing. Mailchimp includes A/B testing for free.
You can also compare the cost of 2,000 subscribers with unlimited emails. Constant Contact charges $45/month for this, whereas Mailchimp charges $30/month. Mailchimp definitely comes out ahead, as far as the cost vs. features is concerned.
Pricing Structures are a Little Complicated for Either Provider
There are 3 plans with Mailchimp:
These 3 designations determine how you will be billed; however, they don’t tell you the fixed amount that you’re going to pay. The amount that you’ll pay is based on the number of subscribers you have. Your base rate with Mailchimp will be 1 of the following 3 options:
So, that’s going to be your base cost, which is added to the cost derived from the number of subscribers you have. Essentially, that base rate tells you what features you will have access to. On their website, Mailchimp has a really useful calculator tool where you can input your number of subscribers, or expected subscribers, and see your real cost.
Constant Contact has an equally annoying pricing structure. Though they call them “contacts” instead of “subscribers”, the cost is still based on the same pay-by-subscriber system. In their defense, it may actually be slightly easier to understand what you will pay because they have already done the step of adding the base rate of your plan for. These base plans are as follows:
You can find an easy-to-use table for each plan on their website that shows what your monthly cost will be by plan, based on how many contacts (subscribers) you have. All said and done, Mailchimp seems to end up being a little cheaper.
Can You Get Help When You Need It?
For all paid customers, Mailchimp offers email and chat support to help you with any question or issue that may come up. If you’re using the service for free, then you might have a hard time getting help right away, but you can still contact them through email.
If you’re using the Pro plan, you’ll get “priority” support, meaning you can basically jump the line to go right to the front and get help faster. And this seems to be the tradeoff. You’ll have tons of features and automations on the free plan, while support will be limited if something comes up.
Customer support with Constant Contact is much more available and comprehensive. Multiple support channels are available on all plans, including phone and chat. There is also a public knowledge base database with guides, articles, and tutorials, in addition to seminars and training to help you learn how to use the service to its full potential and become proficient at using it.
That, specifically, is something Mailchimp doesn’t offer, and it can be exceedingly useful when you’re new to the service or need some tips along the way. Constant Contact also has a blog full of articles where you can find information, instruction, and other valuable content about email marketing. Constant Contact wins the user support category, for sure.
Are There Integrations? But of Course.
Integrations just make life easier for a small business when you’re using certain types of services, such as an email marketing and automation service. You can connect all kinds of apps to save yourself frustration and a whole lot of time.
Link your apps for data analytics and metrics, billing and records, CRM, social media, and a whole lot more. Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer quite a few integrations.
There are 185 integrations at your disposal with Mailchimp. Here are a few examples of some of the most popular ones:
With Constant Contact, you get 431 apps and integrations to connect for all kinds of purposes. A few of the top integrations:
All things considered, both of these services can give you the tools you need to successfully implement an email marketing program for your business. Make no mistake, by the way, that this is something you want to be doing.
An outreach via email, especially with the fantastic automations that are available now, will certainly bring in new business for you. The only question is, how do you do it?
The whole point of the services we’re analyzing in this post is to make it not only possible, but simple, to start utilizing email marketing as a method of bringing in new sales and raising awareness for your company. Even if you’re still not sure if it’s worthwhile, you should at least give automated email marketing a trial run.
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Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.