Finally, you have arrived. If you are currently using Constant Contact or thinking about it, we were expecting you.😉
Constant Contact has been in the market since 1995! Even spam laws didn’t exist then. But thanks to courageous & nerdy entrepreneurs building products, its position as top email marketing platform is challenged by superior, cheaper & friendlier platforms.
What's the issue with Constant Contact?
Constant Contact suits a small business with very elementary requirements. Their pricing is not crazy high, but there are plenty of other email tools in the market offering a lot more than Constant Contact and for a lot less money.
While they do offer autoresponders, triggered campaigns, and abandoned cart campaigns, you’ll discover that other much cheaper platforms provide similar levels of automation. So the difficulty is, Constant Contact asks for a high-end price for a primary product.
😬Lack of advanced automation, fluid template designs, or spam testing makes it difficult to recommend it over others at their price point.
So, why are you here today?
Now, email marketing software come in various shape and size, but somehow, you still get stuck with the wrong one.
Whether you are a blogger working from a cafe or find yourself in a meeting room with an army of marketers, you spend days acquiring customers, building your products for them & thinking what you are going to tell them.
Inevitably - due to poor choice of locking yourself with inefficient email marketing software - you find yourself staring blankly at your sleek MacBook Pro around three in the morning muttering all to yourself…
"Why can't my software do all of this..."
Well, comrade, we heard you.
🔎My goal here is to compare some of the platforms out there and help you make an intelligent choice according to your requirements (so you don't have an ‘I’m about to lose my shit’ moment combing through a jungle of options).
Win-win pricing & great support
SendX is an all-in-one cloud-based growth tool and email marketing software. Their pricing really hits the sweet spot & 24x7 customer support (in all three ways - phone, email, and chat) is something you don’t get at Constant Contact.
Email Send Time Optimisation
They have powerful features so you can build your rules, use built-in automation triggers or do segment automation.
One feature that’s either not available or available only in premium plans with other platforms but comes with a basic plan at SendX is - Email Send Time Optimisation. This analyzes the email responses of every recipient in relation to the campaign launch time, and then sends the next email at the optimal time for them.
All of this helps to put your marketing on autopilot & you can go back to focusing on your core business. Constant Contact lacks these features and you might end up losing a lot of business. And that’s not what we want.
Forms & Landing Pages
Constant Contact has improved a lot since its inception but they haven’t focused on the design and templated landing pages, which literally run your business when you are not there. With SendX you can find a huge selection of forms and landing pages. To top that, you can tweak each and every part of the design and trigger exit intent, scroll or other user activity for having maximum conversions.
✅SendX also has 24/7 email, phone & chat support no matter how big or small your business is.
✅3000+ companies around the world trust SendX for simple, effective & intuitive email marketing. Because of this scale, they have been able to keep their prices affordable. If you want to try it for yourself, take the 14-day trial & test all the features. It’s quick to sign up so I would recommend you try that. You don't need a credit card to signup.
4 mins longer translated to millions...
I have written a few hundred words above, in praise of SendX but did I recommend it to someone, in real life?
Yes, I did. I recently recommended it to an ex-colleague selling online courses targeted towards young millennials - a wide range of customer avatars. I suggested him to use the Send Time Optimisation feature.
He did it.
And then, he reported that visitors from time optimised emails spend about four minutes longer on their website than those from other sources. And that's one factor why he has true fans, actual buyers and an extra million or two in his bank account.
Not recommended if:
If you’re looking for advanced marketing automation tools and workflows, then SendX won’t suffice for you. However, SendX team is proactive in spinning out new features so you can expect great news about automation very soon. But it’s not available if you are looking to implement it right away.
Letting you run business on autopilot
Mailchimp has millions of customers compared to a few hundred thousand with Constant Contact. The monkey mascot has its charm but talking about serious business, they must be doing something right.
What I have heard from friends and solo founders is that they let you run a complicated business with several verticals without the need for staff or virtual assistants.
UI & Templates
Mailchimp is extremely user-friendly. They have intuitive, simple UI and you won’t waste time going through any pieces of training or guides. Their templates offer much more flexibility & creativity - you can create 1,2 or 3 column structure or display images and social media options or show social clout of your pages. Would I recommend it to my brother who lacks patience & design skills? Probably yes.
While Constant Contact offers basic reporting like open rate, click-through-rate, Mailchimp on top of these also offers geo-tracking, social media reports and click maps.
And we know a detailed, comprehensive report helps us as marketers make actionable decisions.
When it comes to integrations, Mailchimp has an upper hand as it also offers Ads Integration. If you rely heavily on paid ads, Mailchimp has a suite of tools that let you create them on Facebook, Instagram, and Google – using audiences from your lists. Constant Contact has no such features.
✅Mailchimp has 24/7 email support and chat help (during business hours). Free users access 1 month of support to get started, after that they’re on their own. We’ve asked Mailchimp a few questions and their answers are good if a bit slow at times.
✅With a Free plan, you can send up to 10000 emails to up to 2000 contacts forever, which is good for beginners. Constant Contact plan starts at $15/month even if you haven’t scaled your list or grow your business.
But, Mailchimp offer has a catch. Your pricing is calculated based on the size of your ‘audience’ (that is, list size), so you will be charged for un-opted/unsubscribed audience.
May the branding be with you...
A friend of mine who is an illustrator wants to start selling her own merchandise to her 1200 person list. She is a very visual person ( obviously, she is an illustrator) & she is sure that her emails are not going to be text-based.
In such a case, Mailchimp is a good choice. She can quickly load her color palette and brand font, and this will make her emails look and feel like an extension of her website very easily.
Not recommended if:
If you plan to use affiliate then I would strongly recommend against Mailchimp as they have their own rules against using their platform for affiliate marketing.
Mailchimp being a large company now, their customer support is not very delightful or responsive so if you haven't done much hands-on on any email marketing platform, I would not recommend Mailchimp. The pricing, as you can see, is not the most affordable one.
French Company with unique offerings
SendinBlue is a Paris based company offering services in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese & German. That’s great if your business plans to have a localization strategy. It stands out in the market for providing email marketing, marketing automation, transactional emails, and SMS campaigns. Transactional emails & SMS are great if you have an e-commerce store.
Compared to Constant Contact, SendinBlue has a much better (almost best) form builder.
I could build a form on Constant Contact easily but when I tried to customize it and align with branding, I felt like I am sitting on a cactus. Painful. It lacked formatting flexibility and I lost patience while messing with CSS and still not getting what I wanted.
SendinBlue’s form builder gives you full control over the form’s design - the color, spacing, alignment, and more for each element of the form. It even lets you add GDPR checkmark or CAPTCHA confirmation.
Email Send Time Optimisation
Another cool highlight from SendinBlue is - Email Send Time Optimisation. When you schedule a campaign, you’ll see an option to “Send it at the best time.”
If you choose this, SendinBlue will automatically send the email at the most suitable time for each individual email recipient, based on their past behavior. Although this is only available when you buy a Premium plan. This will boost your open rates, ultimately resulting in more awareness, clicks, and conversion. If you have a big enough list, the rise in conversions will probably justify the cost of a Premium plan.
✅SendinBlue has phone & email support available during business hours. If you want to get in touch before you buy a plan, you will have to go through filling up forms & waiting.
✅SendinBlue pricing is based on the number of email messages sent, rather than the number of contacts you hold in your account. Its free plan allows you to send up to 300 emails per day or 9,000 emails per month - absolutely free.
As your business requirements evolve, you can upgrade to a plan that meets your needs. You can also send up to 40,000 emails per month for just $25.
✅Fair pricing allows small companies to get used to the features with a small subscriber base and then scale up as their subscriber base grows. This also allows features that were previously reserved for big-budget companies to be available to SendinBlue customers. I think this platform is very adaptable.
I heard you are starting a newsletter...
SendinBlue is good for you if you are starting a newsletter or already have one and you wish to monetize it later on. It’s also good for companies that deal with events, e-commerce as you can send transactional emails and SMSs.
SendinBlue pricing is based on the number of email messages sent while Constant Contact pricing is based on the number of contacts. So this comparison would not be fair. Cool? Cool.
Not recommended if:
Their free plan has a daily sending limit of 300 emails which is not enough to test your open rates or click through rates. So if you don't plan to use their paid plans, I would not recommend this platform.
Simple & Modern
MailerLite is known for its simple, clean and modern look. I am not surprised by that because the fun fact is, MailerLite was a web design company before they pivoted to email marketing.
Ok, I digress.
Let’s read on to know some of the cool things about MailerLite.
One cool feature is the ability to create professional-looking Landing Pages with just drag and drop editor. No code. You can host these on MailerLite, or on your own domain. The ease of designing makes the process as smooth as making a newsletter.
Having all your contacts, landing pages and email campaigns in one place definitely makes things easier to manage. Luckily, it offers a free plan, which includes an unlimited number of landing pages.
As they built this platform for freelancers, bloggers, etc they focus on areas to grow the list and hence their landing pages, pop-ups and embedded forms help you capture more people from across the world.
Dynamic Email Blocks
Their newsletter editor is not only super intuitive but also smart. It lets you personalize your messages beyond just addressing subscribers by their first name. You can create dynamically targeted email blocks to specific audiences.
You build one newsletter, but certain sections are only visible to a designated group of subscribers. Choose who can see the block—all recipients or a specific group of recipients who match your custom criteria. For their price point, I think it’s a stellar feature.
Their Video GIF feature also makes the emails fun and interactive. This feature makes a gif of your video when you embed a youtube link in the email.
✅They have 24/7 email and chat support. There is no phone support. Apart from that they have guides, video tutorials and demos to get you started.
✅Their 14-day free trial includes access to the important email marketing features including drag & drop editor, automation, landing pages and more. You can import as many subscribers as you want and it only starts counting them towards your paywall when you send emails.
Did someone mention food?
Perfect for bloggers looking to build their email list or small businesses with engaged audience. For example, I suggested it to a neighbor running a food blogging website. Food brings people together. A pinch of personalized email creates a great recipe for engagement.
Not recommended if:
If you rely heavily on advanced reporting & automations, then MailerLite might disappoint you. It doesn't provide a robust spam testing so if your emails involve promotional content, variety of images and many links, then I would not recommend it as it will affect your deliverability.
We, marketers, love efficiency and more than that we love an engaged audience. And these are achievable with ActiveCampaign that offers automation which you would usually expect to see only in more expensive tools.
ActiveCampaign allows you to virtually automate anything you can think of – You can set up a welcome series with triggered campaigns, find your most engaged contacts with automated segmentation or even send dynamic content.
Their easy to use flow chart system is pretty intuitive and drag-and-drop automation builder lets you set up automated workflows in minutes. You can also find templates to get started or get ideas from.
A really helpful and usually ignored feature that they have is a birds-eye view of all your automations. This is helpful when you want to tweak something and see beforehand what else might be affected by it. It also makes it easy to update them down the road if you make changes to your marketing strategy.
🙊They claim that they are working on smarter automation that will be powered by machine learning. Machine learning will look at all your data to see what timing, content, and routing work for each customer, thus getting you better results for the same amount of work. I haven’t seen it live so I will wait for sometime before judging whether it will really work or not.
Segmentation of Contacts
ActiveCampaign’s list management features are also impressive.
You can segment contacts via custom fields (which are contact fields that include additional data about the contact, e.g. location or interests, etc). Tags and custom fields can be added or removed via automation.
Another interesting feature is - ActiveCampaign also offers lead scoring, allowing you to assign scores based on past actions of subscribers. You can adjust the score based on anything. This helps you segment the audience from highly engaged to totally inactive. And thus helps you take actionable decisions with your marketing strategy.
✅ActiveCampaign offers support, with email, live chat, easily searchable knowledge bases and tutorials. If you need help, they also provide one-on-one training as an option and a community forum where you can ask questions.
✅You can try all the features with a free 14-day trial. After that, you are prompted to opt for one of their plans - Lite, Plus, Professional or Enterprise. The basic Lite plan starts from $9/mo, paid yearly and you can send unlimited emails to 500 contacts. Price increases as you increase your number of contacts.
✅There’s no free version (but a free trial), so ActiveCampaign mostly targets professionals and businesses. ActiveCampaign is definitely not a low-maintenance, beginner-friendly tool.
Go for it only if you are clear about your marketing strategy and the requirement for automation.
300% increase in revenue. For real?...
ActiveCampaign is good for businesses with a clear marketing strategy. When Soundsnap, a firm selling sound effects, came up with the idea to do behavioral targeting, they used ActiveCampaign to do that.
For example, on Soundsnap’s website, if you search for variations of robot sounds, you will receive an email with a link to & that isa relevant result for you. This helped them increase email revenue by 300%. So if you have a clear idea of what automation you want to do, you can go for ActiveCampaign.
Not recommended if:
If you are a beginner and not so tech-savy, the platform can get overwhelming. The automations are powerful but if your business requirements are simple like sending welcome email, you don't need to complicate things with this platform.
All of these platforms are run by brilliant minds & in the end, a decision really depends on what your business requirements are right now and how do you see it scaling. Go for a company keeps simple things obvious & makes powerful things possible.
So I will recommend a young platform like SendX. Yes, your skeptical friend must have warned you not to listen to advice from strangers on the internet. He is smart. But let me repeat why you will love SendX.
✅They have a free 14-day trial that requires no credit card and enables you to check out all the features.
✅You will be impressed with their simplicity, customer support, powerful automation tools & vast options for landing pages. Here is another chance to sign up if you press that glossy green button below. 👇
✅They launched the first public beta in January 2017 and are already a trusted platform by 3000+ companies.
And once upon a time, a genius marketer from Drivezy said the following about SendX
“Got amazing support from SendX team. They helped me set up the tool. Setting up drip campaigns is extremely easy and it is extremely easy to import/export contacts and setup campaigns. I can tell that this is easily among the best of all similar tools available in the market.”
So, what I am trying to say is, you should hit the darn button and take up the 14-day free trial. No credit card is required.