As someone on a computer all day, I’m often one of the first people to try a new piece of software. Email marketing software is one of them. I’ve tried Constant Contact and some others but Mailchimp is still my email marketing favorite.
Now Constant Contact is a more complete solution in terms of them having event marketing and other features. And that’s what it has going for it.
- high delivery rates (95%+)
- segmented lists
- statistics on email campaigns
- integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Analytics
- ability to import data from spreadsheets or csv files, etc.
A few things Mailchimp has going for it that make it stand alone I think as the best choice:
1) Free– I’m not just talking monthly for up to 2,000 subscribers. If you want to have a subscription box on your website, Constant Contact charges you monthly for that. Want to display a list of links to your archives of past newsletter sends? Constant Contact charges you for that. Want to let people to subscribe from your Facebook page? Constant Contact charges you for that. With Mailchimp it’s all free. And if you run a WordPress site, it has good integration with Gravity Forms, which means people can subscribe to your email newsletter while filling out a contact form (for example) on your website.
2) Easy to customize templates– Let’s say you want the background of an email newsletter to be white. For Constant Contact templates, each block of content is controlled independently, meaning you have to go to each one and select ‘white’. Very annoying. Mailchimp has styles that the whole newsletter can inherit. Like if you want the background white and all the headers blue, that’s two clicks. Constant Contact templates take me at least three times as long to make as Mailchimp ones and they don’t look nearly as good in my opinion. Click here to see what one of my email newsletters looks like if you want to get an idea of design.
3) Partnerships– Constant Contact is very insular. They want to do everything within their company. Mailchimp however has been really good at partnering with people like Eventbrite to offer better features that don’t cost extra.No matter what, you can always take your list and go home.
Both Constant Contact and Mailchimp have a way to export your list as a csv or other file format so you can move between them. In other words, if you hate Mailchimp, you aren’t stuck. And vice versa. It’s very important no matter what you pick for services that you can take your ball and go home whenever you want.
Are these your only two options? Of course not. And if you really are looking for a one stop shop, Constant Contact may be right for you. But I’m sticking with Mailchimp because for email marketing, it’s free, has great features, and puts out an excellent product. But if I run into something that works better, I’ll be sure to blog it! (Please note: I am not an affiliate marketer of either software so no one is paying me to have this opinion- I just do!)