The difference between Mailchimp and Constant Contact may seem slight, since both companies offer newsletter software, but when you really dig in (which we’ll do below), there are some pretty massive differences.
If all things were equal in Mailchimp versus Constant Contact (they’re not, keep reading), Mailchimp would still edge ahead since they have a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and Constant Contact pricing starts at $15/month after their free trial period ends. Some people might say “but Mailchimp can double charge for the same subscriber across two lists”, it’s easy to avoid that entirely by simply setting up your Mailchimp account properly (I teach you how to do this in my Chimp Essentials course).
Constant Contact competitors, just like Mailchimp competitors, all have very similar features, levels of support and deliverability scores. So in comparisons like these, we’re not looking at massive wins or losses for either side, we’re looking at splitting hairs between features that are best for your business, generating revenue and keeping your subscribers happy.
In all fairness, I think Mailchimp is much better than Constant Contact, and Mailchimp is what I use to run my online company—and I own many software companies, run several online courses with over 10,000 students, and create content for a popular weekly newsletter that has over 30,000 subscribers. I also generate more than 95% of my revenue from my mailing list and it’s Mailchimp, not Constant Contact that powers it.
The difference between Mailchimp and Constant Contact may seem slight on the surface, but it’s not once we take a closer look. So let’s do that and look at why myself and so many others believe that in a Mailchimp vs Constant Contact fight, Mailchimp comes out on top.
Constant Contact or Mailchimp, features compared
Design – Mailchimp wins
Constant Contact forces you to use their ugly templates, which are a pain to change. (And, before you call me for saying something is ugly, know that I’ve been a designer for 20 years and worked with Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, and many other huge companies.) Compare Mailchimp and Constant Contact for design, and Mailchimp’s templates are both stylish and super easy to update to match your brand.
Automations – Mailchimp wins
Mailchimp has quite a robust set of automations and ways to both trigger them and further segment them once they’re running. Constant Contact only has a few ways to trigger drips, like add to list/group, birthdays and list anniversaries. The difference between Constant Contact and Mailchimp for automations is also that Mailchimp lets anyone (free or paid accounts) use them, whereas Constant Contact charges more (requiring an EMAIL PLUS account) to use them. As important as automations are to email marketing (i.e. probably the most important feature), it seems in poor form to charge more than 50% extra to access that feature on Constant Contact.
Reporting – Mailchimp wins
Sadly, Constant Contact’s reports are misleading, especially for click-rates in emails. Constant Contact will show radically higher click rates as they calculate clicks based on opens, whereas Mailchimp calculates clicks based on successful deliveries. Mailchimp’s way of calculating it shows overall performance of an email, whereas Constant Contact shows success within an email, which isn’t as telling for an email marketing strategy.
Deliverability – Mailchimp wins
Tests done by EmailToolTester show that Mailchimp has a higher delivery rate than Constant Contact. It’s quite a lot too, 92% vs 71%, so that’s also a huge factor in determining if Mailchimp or Constant are the overall winner.
Ad integrations – Mailchimp wins
If paid ads are important, Mailchimp has a suite of tools to let you create them on Facebook, Instagram and Google – using audiences from your lists. Whereas Constant Contact has no such features.
Integrations – Mailchimp wins
It may sound like a broken record by now, but Mailchimp wins here too because they have native integrations with a lot of tools, like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, for free. With Constant Contact, you need to pay for Zapier and then create zaps to integrate services.
Support – SHOCKING! Constant Contact wins
Well, it’s no longer a clean sweep in this Mailchimp vs Constant Contact battle, because Constant Contact has phone and a customer message board, whereas Mailchimp only offers email support. That said, Mailchimp’s email support (which I use a lot) is fast and really helpful.
Company – Mailchimp wins
Constant Contact is owned by Endurance International Group who owns several bad hosting companies who routine get awful reviews of their services and poor support. They’ve even had class-action lawsuits brought against them (yikes). Whereas Mailchimp is literally a “decent” company. They donate millions to local charities, championing diversity and inclusion. They also actively work to recruit talented people from diverse backgrounds, partnering with organizations from historically black colleges and universities to LGBTQIA associations.
Mailchimp vs Constant Contact conclusion, Mailchimp is better than Constant Contact (by a lot…)
The one thing this review didn’t touch on was the little things that make software both easy to use and enjoyable to use as well. Constant Contact’s interface is clunky, slow and not very user-friendly. While Mailchimp’s interface is simple, well designed, and even has some elements of fun (like the sweaty monkey-hand right before sending a campaign).
There are a lot of articles online that talk about awful Mailchimp is or there are disadvantages to Mailchimp so it can’t do certain things, when that’s not the case—and some people just like spreading misinformation (like saying Mailchimp doesn’t let you use affiliate links, which isn’t true).
While no email marketing software is the most logical answer for all businesses at all times, let’s look at why you would agree with the review of Mailchimp vs Constant Contact above. I’m not alone in thinking this either, Mailchimp has millions of customers (at least 15 million) more than Constant Contact (around 650,000), so a lot of people agree with me.
Why choose Mailchimp over Constant Contact?
- You want to vote with your wallet and support a company that cares about its customers, its staff and its city.
- You want meaningful stats and great deliverability.
- You want to run sales and course automations to drive revenue for your business.
- You want something that’s easy and fun to use.
Why choose Constant Contact over Mailchimp?
- You want phone support.
- You want to pay someone to design email templates for you (even though plain-text emails are better).
- You don’t care about ecommerce integrations or making money from your list.
- You’re stuck in a Microsoft world—Constant Contact integrates with Outlook.
As I said at the beginning of this review, both companies offer similar software products to their customers. Mailchimp just destroys Constant Contact for almost every reason and in almost every feature. I’m not alone in thinking this either, Mailchimp has 15+ million customers and Constant Contact has around 650,000, so a lot of people agree with me.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use Mailchimp to run your online business, check out Chimp Essentials, my how-to course for using Mailchimp to drive subscribers and revenue in your business.