Emails have become one of the most important if not the most important marketing tools that a business can implement in its marketing strategy. A strong email campaign is work to connect to its customers and keep them connected. In this post we are going to go over the two largest email marketing companies, Constant Contact and Mailchimp and look at the benefits of both services.
The best thing MailChimp has going for it is that you can sign up and use their service for free up until 2000 subscribers. Other services might state they are free but they are in fact only free during a trial period where is Mailchimp is free and possibly free forever if you stay within 2000 subscribers.
Now the free account doesn’t have every single feature available to the email service, but you get just about everything you’d need to jump start your email list.
Of course a drawback to the free plan is it doesn’t come with automated emails.
Many with experience in email marketing know the importance of sending welcome emails and efficient autoresponder series, so not having that as part of the free plan is a bit a let down.
If you want to send those types of emails, then you’ll need to upgrade. Luckily, pricing starts at only $10 which isn’t half bad.
Although the starting price of $10 per month sounds nice, you might want to take a close look at the details.
$10 a month only covers 500 subscribers, and MailChimp will automatically change your account to the next tier if your subscriber count goes above that which means you could get a surprising bill if your list building is going well.
It’s $15 for 1 thousand subscribers, $25 for 2 thousand, $50 for 5 thousand, and $75 for 10 thousand. Price increase doesn’t stop there though.
If you wind up with a massive mailing list of say… 25 thousand subscribers, your monthly bill is $150.
This isn’t too bad since you should be making money at this point with a list that large, but MailChimp does charge you more for a larger list — just like everyone else does.
Affiliates Can Get Shut Down
If you read through Brenda’s review of MailChimp here on the blog, then this likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. Apparently, MailChimp is a bit of a stickler when it comes to affiliate marketing:
Support is Lacking
For all of the great features that come with MailChimp, this is a downside that can easily be a dealbreaker.
If you use the free plan for your email list, but you need help — tough cookies because you’re on your own. If you need help or your account gets locked for some reason, you have no way of getting in touch with people and getting it resolved. At least that’s been my experience.
Though they do have videos and a decent sized knowledge base, it’s always nice to be able to pick up the phone and call someone when you’ve hit a wall.
You do get email and chat support when you upgrade to a paid version though, but it would be nice to get some help when first setting things up.
Do you have a question about your account? Need help setting up it up or fixing something?
Then grab your phone and give the support line a phone call. If you don’t feel like chatting on the phone, you can send an email or hop on a chat with a customer service rep.
In fact, after you sign up for an account with them, a representative will call you to ask if you need help getting things set up. And if they miss you, you can expect an email in your inbox.
Easy-To-Use Template Builder
Though both MailChimp and Constant Contact (CC) have template builders, the one that comes with CC is a little easier to navigate and has more customization options.
They made it easy to change colors and fonts, and they have what they call ‘Blocks’ which contains various layouts and styles to them to help you create a unique email.
Take It With You On the Go
Let’s face it — most of us are busy people on the go.
But I don’t know a single person who doesn’t leave their house without a cell phone.
Since many people can’t be at their computers all day everyday, it’s nice to have the ability to keep track of important things like an email campaign.
Like MailChimp, Constant Contact has a mobile app that lets you stay on top of stuff even when you’re away from your laptop.
No RSS-to-Email Feature
I found this rather surprising, but when I went through testing my Constant Contact account, I couldn’t find the RSS-to-Email feature.
Apparently, that’s because it doesn’t exist.
But setting up a trigger event where Constant Contact will automatically send out an email when your blog is updated isn’t available as an easy-to-use feature.
More Expensive Than MailChimp
Whereas MailChimp charges only $10 for up to 500 subscribers, Constant Contact charges twice as much for the same subscriber count.
MailChimp is upfront about pricing; you can figure out what you will get charged based how many subscribers you have. Whether it’s 10 thousand or 100 thousand, you can enter the price in the calculator in your account and see exactly how much you will be charged.
CC is not so transparent. If you’re above 5 thousand subscribers for your list, you’ll pay $85 a month. But what if you go above 10 thousand on your list?
There’s no easy way of knowing the price. You have to call customer service to get it, and since it’s not set in stone on their website, they could charge just about whatever number they want to.
Whose the Winner?
Both systems deliver results and it is not so much that one is better overall but what is better for your situation. I would say for many of the readers of this blog Mailchimp is going to be the best bet. I find it to be more user friendly, simple and of course its free up until 2000 subscribers.