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MailChimp vs. Constant Contact

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…And the Mail Goes to the Chimp

A few weeks ago, as our company was preparing to launch the newsletter you are currently reading, we ran into the dilemma of which email marketing provider to use—MailChimp or Constant Contact.  Although there are also other reputable providers such as Aweber and iContact, we felt that that Constant Contact and MailChimp were better and fit the type of services we needed.
To our dismay, since it wasn’t physically possible to allow the two to settle the dispute in a no-holds-bar death match—let’s say UFC style—we had to do some research.   After some time reading data and asking my old chum, Google, I found a somewhat consensus from the online community that agreed MailChimp was the way to go.  Although there were naysayers and advocates for other companies, people like the Chimp better.
When choosing a company that will handle a vital aspect of your business such as email marketing, it is important to consider several things: cost, ease of use, social integration, and efficiency. Since they both are pretty similar when it comes to deliverability and reliance, I am going to exclude those facets.
MailChimp is for Lovers
In the long run, Constant Contact and MailChimp run around the same price.  Their pricing seems virtually the same with the exception of very large companies with extensive emailing listings of 25,000+.  In those instances, you would have to directly contact CC for pricing.  For companies that are recently starting email marketing and have a small list of emails, MailChimp is cheaper.  If you have fewer than 500 subscribers, then the free version of MailChimp is available. Although the free version limits users to 2,000 messages a month and brands a small MailChimp logo at the bottom of emails, this plan makes more sense for businesses that have very few subscribers.  It saves money! Once your email list out grows the capacity of the free version, it would then make sense to consider pricing plans.  In which case, MailChimp offers better prices for growing companies.
Ease of Use
MailChimp has a nice and simple interface for beginning users.  The basic layout of their website and their templates allow for not-so-tech-savvy people to have a fighting chance.  They provide a variety of templates available.  However, if your company has a person who knows even a small bit about HTML, then your emails can be very customizable.  For our newsletter, we easily translated what we wanted to reality.  Constant Contact has been noted by many sources to be more difficult to use for novices.
Social Integration.  Even their newest changes have been met with disparaging comments.  
This battle swings in the favor of MailChimp.  Currently, the social integration is similar, but MailChimp wins because it’s easier to use.  Also, MailChimp users can add an app to their Facebook page that allows people to seamlessly sign up for newsletters and email lists.  Constant Contact does this too but not quite as well or with as much fun. Last week, Constant Contact added a tool that makes it easier to manage events on Facebook.
Constant Contact does not work with Google Analytics.  That, in itself, is a major problem. Although Constant Contact also uses its own analytics, Google Analytics is more robust because it also shows website analytics.
With all of this said, I would like to clearly state that I am in no way affiliated or work with MailChimp.  From experience with both of the services and thorough research, I have found that the chimp is better with the mail.
Feel free to use the comment section to express what you think of the matter or if you think any other provider deserves recognition.
Nelson TaNelson Ta is the Content Editor and lead blogger for Omnibeat.  As a social media enthusiast with a extensive background in writing, he strives to help businesses and people understand the latest trends in social media, technology, and marketing.
  • Thnaks John for the recommendation!
    I really need a good email marketing solution.

  • omnibeat

    Glad to help Bogdan.

  • Nic

    I have to say having worked with both MailChimp and Constant Contact that I disagree with you comments on Ease of Use. Perhaps as you say if you know basic HTML but if not then MailChimp is clunky and difficult to use. The customer support is limited compared to Constant Contact who not only provide a live person on a phone but also help to make adjustments. The MailChimp team will tell you (via Live Chat) how to add code and/or tell you to cushion your images before importing etc. etc.

    I have been “Hands Down” far more successful creating great looking emails with Constant Contact. I’m still wringing my hands over Mail Chimp and only wish I could switch back!

  • Great point of view Nic. Constant Contact has done a tremendous job rolling out new software for editing email newsletters. These upgrades over the last 6 months have improved the user experience of Constant Contact tremendously. The live support via phone gives Constant Contact a shining star as well. Funny enough, we utilize Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Act-On, among others.

  • Thanks, this article was helpful to me, you basically described perfectly what my company needs. Well written, easy to read. Was leaning towards mail chimp anyway, so this tipped me.

  • You are quite welcome. Glad you enjoyed the article. MailChimp is a great online email campaign system to use.

  • Cyndi

    I am finding mail chimp extremely frustrating, inflexible and not very intuitive to use. The editors are clumsy, one can’t just resize and move and add things at random. Seems like you have to a pic and content…not impressed. Created what I wanted in Constant Contact very quickly…

  • Glad you are finding Constant Contact intuitive and working well for you. With their recent updates, they are improving their editor quite a bit.

  • Thanks! I was torn but Mail Chimp is now my choice!

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