THE CREATIVITY LAB

  • Live Magento Demos

    Not sure how Magento works? Click on the links below to view a live Magento front end and admin area demo:

    Fashion Store Demo
    Wine Shop Demo
    Art Museum Demo
  • Latest Newsletters

  • Flickr Photostream

  • Related Posts

  • What We Do

    Hudson Valley Web Design
    Poughkeepsie Web Design
    Custom WordPress Websites NY
    eCommerce Magento Websites NY
    Dutchess County Web Design
    Search Engine Optimization NY
    Internet Marketing Dutchess County
    Web Design New York City
  • MailChimp vs Constant Contact Review. Which one is better?

    Posted on 08/21/2012 by Gentian in Custom Newsletters, Email Blasts, Marketing

    Constant Contact and MailChimp are the top two email marketing systems today, but how do you choose? Here is an apples-to-apples comparison:

    Deliverability measures what percentage of emails sent from a campaign get into the subscribers’ in-boxes. Constant Contact and MailChimp both have the highest deliverability rates in the industry: 97% and 96%-99% respectively. They use complex techniques to get emails delivered. For example, before the email is sent, these systems have tools to flag the email if it has spam triggers. Also, they both claim to be “whitelisted” by most ISPs to ensure deliverability. Both services have strict policies about list quality, which help ensure the list is truly opt-in and not just scraped or purchased. They are involved with industry groups and standards.

    Social media integration means that your email campaign gets attention on Facebook, Twitter, etc. When you are ready to send your email, you get the option of propagating a link to a web-based version of the email on your social media accounts. Constant Contact posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and “Other” (the “AddThis” app, which adds several hundred social media platforms). MailChimp lets you auto-tweet to Twitter and auto-post to Facebook, and allows your subscribers to comment about your email on Facebook.

    FREE CONSULTATION!

    Contact us today to talk about your email marketing needs. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets. We can design and develop custom newsletters that have high deliverability and open rates! For a free consultation call us directly at 845-656-3000 or email us and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

    MailChimp’s campaign archive toolbar also provides a permanent, free link to your email campaign on its server. Constant Contact will host a webpage version of your email free for 30 days, but permanent archiving costs $5/month. MailChimp’s archive automatically displays a mobile-friendly version of the email to mobile users, but Constant Contact does not. And Constant Contact has no automatic way of archiving emails on your own website, but MailChimp does, and it’s updated automatically whenever you send out an email campaign.

    MailChimp was ahead of Constant Contact in terms of usability until this past spring (2012), when Constant Contact rolled out a new interface very similar to MailChimp’s. Now they are both easy to use. They both walk new users through the process of creating their first email campaign using prompts, help topics, useful on-screen explanations, and videos.

    Constant Contact and MailChimp handle their lists differently. Both have the ability to segregate email lists into groups according to their interests (for example, General Interest, Health, Exercise). However, MailChimp has multiple, separate email lists with segments, while Constant Contact just has segments. When an email address is set to “do not mail” in Constant Contact, it cannot be re-entered easily. Since MailChimp has multiple lists, unsubscribing someone from one list does not remove that email addresss from the entire account.

    Comparing pricing is tricky. Both have a free version: Constant Contact for 60 days under 100 contacts (unlimited email campaigns); MailChimp has a permanently-free option under 2,000 subscribers (maximum 12,000 emails/month). However, the free MailChimp does not give you access to certain tools for increasing your email’s deliverability, it does not have MailChimp’s “SocialPro” to analyze your subscriber’s social media activity, and doesn’t have auto-responders. The Constant Contact free trial ends quickly for many beginners because if they are doing it right, they exceed 99 subscribers before 60 days is up. Constant Contact’s fees are $15/month <500 subscribers, plus $5/month for image hosting (not needed if you have a website to store your images), and it includes 5 active auto-responders. MailChimp costs $10/month <500 subscribers, and $15/month <1000 subscribers. After that, their pricing converges. Constant Contact wants you to pay monthly and have pre-payment and non-profit discounts. MailChimp offers monthly plans as well as pay-as-you-go plans that act like stamps. (Tip: If you aren’t sending email to your list at least once a month, don’t bother — your subscribers have forgotten about you.)

    Having done a great number of newsletters for clients who use both MailChimp and Constant Contant, when we’ve set up accounts for clients with Constant Contact, they have contacted us with follow up calls trying to sell more features from their service. MailChimp has been more laid back. One time they sent us a free MailChimp T-shirt when we used their Delivery Doctor, which costs $10 to have an email analyzed and run dozens of tests until to ensure the email is optimized and will not get blocked by email clients. Nonetheless, even when we used the Delivery Doctor we didn’t see a significant increase in delivered emails. In fairness to Constant Contact, they have more services to offer so you can’t fault them for offering more – they DO offer more. Also, when you open a new account with them, they assign an account manager to contact you and help you with everything from the day you sign up – not sure if MailChimp does that but our phone hasn’t rung since we signed up for a MailChimp account

    FREE CONSULTATION!

    Contact us today to talk about your email marketing needs. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets. We can design and develop custom newsletters that have high deliverability and open rates! For a free consultation call us directly at 845-656-3000 or email us and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

    Both Constant Contact and MailChimp have hundreds of built-in, pre-designed, professional-looking templates that set them apart from most of the other email marketing systems. They are beautiful, perfectly programmed in HTML and easy to style. MailChimp even allows you to choose from a list of color schemes. They both use standard email marketing protocols including typical “safe” email widths starting at 600 pixels. MailChimp has a special button called “Get Colors from My Site,” which tries to auto-generate colors and images on your chosen template to match your website.

    If you are running events, surveys, or “Groupon-like” specials, you can add these systems on in Constant Contact using your email list. It’s handy to be able to track all the email addresses related to your events, surveys and special offers in one place. The pricing for each product you add on is cheaper than buying one alone. (They also have an add-on social campaign feature whose value is somewhat questionable.) MailChimp is just email marketing with some social integration at this time.

    Consider what you need. If you want to promote events and conduct surveys, Constant Contact is more convenient. Both are quick to start up, but MailChimp’s “Get Colors from My Site ” and color scheme features might save you some time. MailChimp has better, free, permanent email archiving versus Constant Contact’s $5/month option. Fully-featured MailChimp is cheaper than Constant Contact if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers. And MailChimp’s free account can have lasting value if you don’t need all the system’s features. These two companies are constantly adding features, to the point that the differences between them are difficult to detect.

     
     

    Best,

    Genti


    • Sherrie

      thanks

    • Dave

      I use http://www.marketmailer.co.uk now and it is the bomb :) way cheaper than mailchimp and constant contact. Their system is just as good but imho their service is better.

      • http://sherodesigns.com Gentian

        Dave, thanks for your comment. Could you please explain in more detail why Market Mailer is better? In their pricing table I see that they charge £9.95 ($15.91) a month for 2000 emails/credits while MailChimp offers that for free.

        • Danny

          Yah for low volume/free chimp is better. But for any serious quantity, other ones are better e.g. chimp 25k credits = 250usd and MM = £83.28 and it seems that the higher the volume the more it wins vs chimp, and probably others, there are some companies out there that will completely manage your campaigns, although, I dont have a clue which or how much it costs, I think there is one called Jaymail, looked pretty decent. Personally I use MM, they have unlimited list size and send limits, and the customer service is top notch.

        • Dave

          sorry about the delay :) As Danny kindly pointed out if you’re going to send less than 2000 emails in a month then mailchimp is cheaper (cause theirs is free!)

          However, we send one-offs to 100,000 – 150,000 people:
          MarketMailer = £284
          Mailchimp = £434

    • T

      Mailchimp today provide me with one of the worst customer service experiences. They only provide online service, no phone number and no means. My recommendation: Invest into customer service, friendliness and means: Stay away from MailChimp. GetResponse and others provide a much better service, in particular, when you need it.

    • anne

      Informative! Thanks!

    • Jack

      Don’t even think about opening an auto responder account with MailChimp.
      Today they’ve decided to shut down my autoreponder account. Why ? For
      what reason ? All I could get was an auto generated email about Spam
      filters getting more and more sophisticated.

      I was diligently serving my small (but growing) list with useful advice,
      information and excellent articles. I had great response from people in
      my list and I was extremely careful to send useful information related
      to my niche. Why do they think I am a risk ? I don’t know as the Chimp
      wouldn’t say ! Maybe they are doing too well and they need to cut down
      the number of their customers

      I read some terrible stories about Mailchimp before I joined but I
      didn’t believe them until now. So do yourself a big favour and stay away
      from Mailchimp. If you have an account with MailChimp then I strongly
      suggest you to look for alternative auto responder.

    • Paolo Schiavon

      Mailchimp are a bunch of non professional amateurs if you ask me. I’ve been with them for months, paid £100′s and now I found out that all the autoresponders I did setup up during this time, never worked, missing on literally 100′s of leads worth £10,000′s because of the google analytic code they said, furthermore, on the latest version 8, they changed a fundamental feature without prior notice: we are working with account managers that needs to see their clients responses, one by one; now the open and unopened report link have been disabled for good so the share reports do not shown any more email by email who opened and who clicked, also the paragraphs have disappeared [a bug]. In all circumstances nothing but “there is not a ETA for this, ETA for that..” a complete shamble!

      And if you are reading this, Mr Mailchimp, your reply in response to this is not welcome, unless you are willing to indemnify £20,000 in lost contracts, and don’t even start with the software is provided as is, because that only means it is totally unreliable as it has been demonstrated. Good luck with that!

    • insi10

      TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE WHEN PROBLEMS ARISE!!! Until today, I had been with Mailchimp for about three years with a large account. I had to change payment methods. For mystery reasons, their credit card gateway (not my own credit card processor bank) wouldn’t accept my valid card. I had an urgent blast to get out on deadline, so I DROVE TO MY BANK AND MOVED THE CASH TO MY BANK DEBIT CARD. Drove back, tried to use that card. Same result. So I couldn’t get the blast out. But the really bad part was that THERE IS NO WAY TO SPEAK TO ANYONE AT MAILCHIMP – I REPEAT – YOU CANNOT GET ANYONE ON THE PHONE – and they did not respond to my urgent emails after saying that the problem was my card. IT ALMOST SEEMED AS IF THEY WERE TRYING TO DRIVE ME AWAY – A $2,880/YEAR CUSTOMER. . BOTTOM LINE: DON’T USE THIS VENDOR!! WHEN THERE IS A PROBLEM, YOU CAN’T REACH ANYONE. I switched today to IContact. It was very easy, and I talked to THREE helpful IContact people in the process of switching. YOUR CHOICE: NOBODY ON THE PHONE AND IGNORED EMAIL REQUESTS FOR HELP WITH MAILCHIMP or GET LIVE HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT WITH ICONTACT.COM..

    • http://standandinspire.com/ Brent Peterson

      I’ve been searching for this comparison. Thank you. Everyone keeps recommending MailChimp but I’ve been using Constant Contact for several years now, and their interface is easy to use. Pricing is confusing at MailChimp. Do you have an idea what the actual cost would be for 1,500 – 2,000 subscribers? Has their customer service improved?

      • sherodesigns

        Hi Brent,

        Glad you liked our article! Actually, for up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails a month Mailchimp doesn’t charges anything at ALL. So it is FREE. Their customer service also rocks.

        Regards,

        Gentian

    • Scott Sell

      I loved CC for years….used it a lot….Im leaving today for Mail
      Chimp. CC has not and apprently will not listen to cusotmers about the
      problems with contact lists and management and its redesign.

      I
      tried to cancel my account online, then through chat only to be told it
      has to be done over the phone….I have been waiting for 30 minutes on
      the phone….This company went from Top of the line A++++ to nothing
      with a grade of F.

      I hate to leave but have no choice.

      Scott

      • Рон Джамин

        Ive had similiar problems with CC. But my biggest complaint with MailChimp is their complete lack of customer support by phone. When I have a problem, I need help NOW, not “in 24 hours” or whatever they decide for email.

    • JustinT

      EmailDirect probably has the best customer support I have experience in regards to Email Marketing. They have a dedicated support team in which you get assigned a person who handles your account entirely.