A Comparison of Popular Email Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

5 min read

When it comes to the better marketing service providers, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, and Active Campaign are the leaders. These four providers pack an incredibly huge punch when it comes to features and benefits. Although these marketing providers are counted as favorites of the market, they aren’t perfect and have some drawbacks. When comparing the four, you can get a clear understanding of which one would work best for you and which one takes the cake.

Before getting into comparisons, let’s understand the nature of the email marketing services provided by these companies, which is to adequately provide their users with the tools to manage their marketing campaigns and successfully connect and engage with their customers from various angles. The idea is to build a loyal customer base. The featured companies in this article are similar, but they do have their differences.

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Let’s take a look at some comparisons.

Mailchimp v/s Constant Contact

A/B Testing

It is always smart to test the waters of your email campaigns before committing totally. Subject line, the body, call to action, images, and so forth, can all have a place, either in the trash or used to generate sales for your business. When it comes to this feature, Mailchimp takes the cake. It offers users three variations of emails in which they can use to send out for testing in a small segment, and, by paying a little extra money, they’ll provide you with eight variations. Constant Contact only offers two and the aspects of the process can be quite overly time-consuming.

Ad Integration

This category belongs solely to Mailchimp as Constant contact has no such option. This feature allows users to set up paid ads for using with Facebook, Instagram, and Google. How about making some extra money?

Automation

A perfect feature for sending out multiple emails all at once versus sending emails out one at a time to thousands of recipients. It creates emails based on a certain criterion for specific types of customers who sign up, and continues to send them without the user having to lift a finger. When it comes to this feature, Mailchimp takes the cake. Constant Contact is limited in this regard with just a few automation settings, such as add to lists/groups, birthdays and list anniversaries. Mailchimp has a broader selection extending onward with the ability to base automation responses on the customers’ behaviors on your site. If they click a certain link, the automation will kick in, if they click on a certain product but don’t buy, the automation will kick in, and so forth. You can set your automation up as you please.

Customer Support

When it comes to this feature, Mailchimp lacks in a very important aspect that customers very much appreciate, and that’s phone support. Constant Contact not only offers phone support, but a message board as well. With a message board, a lot of your concerns are already answered. Mailchimp offers just email support.

Deliverability

This feature detects inappropriate email content. It ensures that the user’s email content isn’t abusive in any way to a point where it ends up in a spam folder.  Mailchimp has a high deliverability rate of 97%. Constant Contact is on the lower end of 71%.

Design

This feature includes the templates, customization, layout options, and images. In this category, Constant Content offers more templates and stock photos, while Mailchimp will provide you with more customization. Creating newsletters from scratch is possible using both the services and they both use HTML format. However, Mailchimp offers a little extra: you can import codes from URLs and even a .zip file.

Reporting

This gives the user a chance to monitor its campaign and find out what is successful and what needs to get eradicated. What makes Constant Contact a stand-out with this feature is the fact that it allows you to see who opened and clicked on your newsletters. That’s just about the only advantage it has over Mailchimp, which offers reporting on click-through rate, open rate, and bounce rates, and even offers users the advantage to access a clip map overlay.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Mailchimp has a bit of an advantage. Purchasing 2,500 contacts, users will pay $30/m and $80 for 10,000. With Constant Contact, users are looking to pay $40/m for 2,500 and $80 for 10,000. However, both providers offer a free trial. Neither one of the two charges anything to get started.

Based on these comparisons, Constant Contact is the better of the two.

Here is a quick rundown of Aweber’s and Activecampaign’s features as they compare to either Mailchimp or up against one another.

Aweber

A/B Testing

Allows the user up to four different testings, while Mailchimp offers up to eight.

Automation

Not as numerous on options as it is a newer addition to the service, but it is a lot easier to set up than Mailchimp.

Customer Support

Just like Constant Contact, Aweber offers phone support. It offers 24/7 live chat support and email as well.

Design

Offers a broader range of templates than Mailchimp’s, but its layouts are old fashioned and not as appealing as Mailchimp’s. Not so pleasing on the eye.

Deliverability

Both are on the same wave, distributing at high deliverability percentages. They both rank at over 95%.

Pricing

$49/m for 2,500 contacts and $149/m for 10,000. A little pricier than Mailchimp.

Reporting

Right on cue with Mailchimp. It offers detailed reporting for precise and accurate decision making processes for the best interests of the user for their campaigns. Offers reporting on bounces, openers, clicks, and more.

Mailchimp comes out on top, yet again. But, how does Active Campaign stack up against the champ?

ActiveCampaign

A/B testing

Allows up to five versions, but doesn’t stack up to Mailchimp’s eight.

Automation

When it comes to this feature, nothing compares to the advancement of Active Campaign. The customization availability is extremely significant when it comes to combining triggers, actions, and conditions. Your automation campaign is sure to excel brilliantly for sending out emails and gaining leads. And to top it off, it’s extremely easy to use.

Customer Support

Offers phone support, allows customers to submit tickets, and chat live with a representative. This is definitely an advantage over Mailchimp.

Design

25 high quality templates, but you can import your own templates, which means the number of templates are endless. Mailchimp fails to take the cake with this feature.

Deliverability

Has a 96% deliverability rate, right there with Mailchimp.

Pricing

$39 for 2,500 contacts and $111 for 10,000. Pricier.

Reporting

Without the help of Google analytics, you can track detailed reporting of open clicks, shares, and geographic locations. With Active Campaign, you can also receive accurate reporting on those deals that has happened over time.

Based on this comparison between Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, and Aweber, it is appears as though that Active Campaign is the better marketing service provided, just pricier. That’s not to say that the others cannot deliver as needed, it just says that Active Campaign has the edge and the rest of the companies have some work to do if they’d like to catch up. Good luck and “May the odds be ever in your favor”.

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