Email marketing automation can be a godsend to a busy marketing professional. Email is so critical to lead nurturing that marketers send emails quite often and email automation allows them to write email marketing sequences to prospects at different points in the sales funnel.
Yet there are several email automation platforms available and it can be difficult to choose the one that’s best for your needs. So take a look below for a discussion about the differences between email automation tools ConstantContact vs. MailChimp.
It’s almost always hard to argue with free and MailChimp provides users with a plan of 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month free for forever. ConstantContact also offers a free plan, but it’s only for the first 60 days and then $20/month for up to 500 subscribers. It’s also more expensive (once you grow past 2,000 subscribers) for the same number of subscribers than MailChimp, offering unlimited emails to up to 2,500 subscribers for $45/month. Meanwhile, MailChimp offers 2,000-2,500 subscribers and unlimited emails for $30/month and $45 for unlimited emails and 2,501-2,600 subscribers for $35/month. In short, MailChimp wins on pricing.
Both let you add subscribers one by one and upload contacts all at once via copying and pasting. With MailChimp you can import a CSV file and also import contacts from Google Contacts, Highrise, Zendesk, and Salesforce, while Constant Contact allows you to upload them with a file such as .xls, xlsx and .vef as well as from Gmail, Excel, Outlook, and more. We’d say it’s a fair draw on this one.
As for list management, ConstantContact lets you add tags to subscribers—you can’t do that in MailChimp.
MailChimp lets you put together groups and segments. If you’re not familiar, groups allow you to target users in a single list, meaning you don’t have to manage multiple lists with the same subscriber. This allows you to filter addresses via subscribers’ interests, profile, etc. You can have up to 60 groups in each list. That’s pretty awesome.
As for segments, they’re created based on subscribers’ shared list data—either data you filled out yourself or information you collected from different email campaigns.
All in all, when it comes to functionality, ConstantContact is a bit better. It also has more ready-to-go email templates you can easily use. So, you definitely get what you pay for.
Email Automation is Where ConstantContact Really Comes Up Short
ConstantContact does allow you to create autoresponders for the time someone joins your list. But that’s all; the email marketing tool doesn’t have any advanced automation features that let you send a message based on behavior.
But MailChimp does. Its website integration capabilities allow you to, for example, send a subscriber an email when they place an item in a shopping cart but doesn’t purchase it; when they haven’t purchased from you in a while; even when they don’t open an email you previously sent. And on top of that, they can send discount coupons to your frequent customers as a thank you for their loyalty.
Of course, there is a caveat:
this automation feature isn’t included in MailChimp’s free-for-forever plan. You need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Once again, MailChimp wins because it can integrate with popular CRMs such as SalesForce, Zoho, SugarCRM, and – we are very happy to hear – HubSpot. It also melds well with social media channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify, YouTube, and more. All fantastic ways to reach your audience.
Your WordPress site also works well with MailChimp, as do Shopify, Magneto, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
ConstantContact doesn’t integrate with as many sites/apps, but it still works with major CRM software (including HubSpot) and your social media channels. Just not as seamlessly.
The Overall Winner in Our Opinion: MailChimp
It’s less expensive and offers more email automation features. The chimp wins!!!
We wonder why you should use any dedicated email automation software. After all, when it comes to lead nurturing (the bottom line purpose of email marketing), the HubSpot CRM platform provides email automation services and the full arsenal of digital inbound marketing tools. You don’t need to purchase anything else!
We’ve already compared HubSpot and InfusionSoft and both came out pretty equal. Yet, even though we’re definitely biased (we’re a HubSpot Certified Partner Agency), we truly – as in TRULY! – believe HubSpot’s platform is the one to use. Seriously: its ROI — even at its most expensive price point – is absolutely, positively, out of this world!
Engage us as your digital marketing agency and you won’t have to purchase any marketing automation software because we’ll do it all for you. Contact us and we’ll tell you how.