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Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact vs. Vertical Response; What's the best email marketing platform

by Sean Hamilton

Email marketing has rapidly become a priority for almost every business. A lot of businesses and business owners always get to that point where they'd need to make use of an email marketing platform. This is because email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tools for businesses, including small businesses. The Direct Marketing Association recently stated that over 4,300 percent return on investment is gotten by businesses that make use of email marketing in the United States alone.

Related: Constant Contact Review

With email marketing, it is very easy to establish and manage a direct customer relationship. Email marketing would also give you full control over your relationship with your customers. The fact that businesses benefit a lot from email marketing cannot be overemphasized; however, this entirely depends on the email marketing platform that is used because it is these platforms that would determine if your mail is delivered or not. It is, therefore, very important to always choose the right email marketing platform if you want your campaign to be successful.

Are you new to the email marketing world, or are you trying to adjust your email marketing strategy? You may have gone through some of the top email marketing platforms in search of solutions. There are so many platforms available; however, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response are the most trusted and most popular email marketing platforms available.

In this article, we will take a look at each platform to compare them and help you in selecting the best that is suited for your business.

PRICING

Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response all provide very cost-effective solutions to users, and this is a very big advantage for small businesses. Here are the peculiarities about each service:

  1. MailChimp Pricing: MailChimp offers a lot of packages. With the starter package, you can send 12,000 email every month to 2,000 subscribers and this is completely for free. There is the 2nd tier package which is made available for people with a slightly larger need. With the 2nd tier package, you would be able to send unlimited emails to a list of 500 subscribers or less and this package is made available at a monthly charge of $10. People who need to send more mail would need to pay an extra $5 per month for every additional 500 subscribers.
    Peradventure, you are not comfortable with the monthly plan, you can opt-in for the "pay as you go" plan and this plan allows you to pay for email as they are sent. It is important to note that the price for every mail sent using this plan is around $0.02 to $0.03, with the price decreasing as the volume of the email increases. The pay as you go plan is the best option for businesses that are seasonally affected. It is important to note that a 30% prepayment discount is offered for nonprofit organizations.
  2. Constant Contact Pricing: The pricing structure used here is a lot similar to that of Mailchimp. The plan starts at a $15 monthly fee for 500 subscribers or less. The fee increases by a $20 monthly fee for every 2,000 to 2,500 additional subscribers. It is important to note that you would be able to send unlimited emails with this plan.
    There is the prepaid option, which offers a 15% discount to customers who prepay between six months to a one-year advance payment.
    Constant Contact also offers a 60-day free trial, during which you would be able to send unlimited emails to 100 subscribers. This is a way to allow users to test drive the email marketing platform.
  3. Vertical Response: The pricing system used by this platform is very similar to many other email marketing platforms. Vertical Response also offers a 60-day free trial period for new users during which they can test drive the platform and send emails to their subscribers. Vertical Response provides a starter plan which is completely free to its users. This plan allows you to send an email to 300 contacts. However, you get only limited features with this plan, and you would not be able to enjoy the analytics and reporting features. There are also the three paid plans, and this offers a 15% discount for an annual payment and a 10% discount for 6 months payments. In all, there is the Basic plan which is the cheapest and which allows you to send unlimited emails to 500 subscribers at a monthly fee of $11, the pro plan comes with additional features that make it for you to carry out analysis by engagement, browser, device, geography, and domain, the pro plan also comes with a monthly 10 test kit credit. With the pro plan, you can send email to 500 contacts at a monthly fee of $16. The final plan is the pro plus plan, which is more expensive. This plan has so many features, all of which are lacking in the other two, and you would be able to send emails to 500 contacts and above. The plan is available at a monthly fee of $196.
    For people who do not want to make use of the monthly subscription, there is the "pay as you go" option and this plan allows users to send mail to 300 contacts at a fee of $7.50
    Vertical Response offers free 10,00 emails per month for a nonprofit organization. A 15% monthly discount is also offered for their paid plans.

DELIVERABILITY RATES

Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response all offer a very good deliverability rates, with the Mailchimp offering over 96%, Constant Contact offering 97% deliverability, and Vertical Response at over 98%. The deliverability rate is an important metric to consider because it helps in measuring how the emails arrive at your subscriber's inbox without being flagged as a spam mail or blocked. Interestingly, the three email marketing platforms make use of advanced techniques that helps in ensuring a very high deliverability and success rate. This also includes a which whitelisting rate.

TEMPLATES

It is important to note that Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Vertical Response all provide users with a lot of professional HTML email templates which are customizable. These templates make it possible for users to choose different color and layout schemes. The "Get Colors from My Site" is a special feature that is offered by MailChimp. This feature makes it makes it possible for users to create email templates that has the same color scheme as their landing pages and/or websites. This is achieved with the aid of the automatic importing function that is designed into it. Constant Contact and Vertical Response also provide users with a wide variety of color and layout schemes they can choose from and this gives an integrated look to the email you send. It also helps in creating and reinforcing your brand image which is a plus for marketing.

EASE OF USE

All the three email marketing platforms were created with the users in mind and as such they are easy to use. The Mailchimp is easy to use, although it sparingly uses colours that draws attention in a strategical manner. The Mailchimp has a very clean dashboard that is also easy to understand. It also has the "drag and drop tools," and this makes customization, creating emails, and adding images to be very simple.

Constant Contact on the other hand is also very easy to use. In fact, it was designed with so much simplicity built into it. Just like the Mailchimp, Constant Contact also has the "drag and drop tool" that is easy to use. The design and templates are properly laid out, making it easy for small businesses to understand how it works, especially does that are not familiar with email marketing.

Vertical Response is also easy to use. In fact, this is the main selling point. Vertical Response is the ideal option for individuals, small businesses, and large companies who cannot afford the luxury of spending so much time on complicated email marketing platforms. Anyone who is unfamiliar with how email marketing platforms work would easily understand the Vertical Response Platform because the features are properly laid out, and they are very easy to understand.

TOOLS AND FUNCTIONALITY

Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response are constantly updated with new features in order to improve user experience and service delivery.

One interesting thing about Vertical Response is that it has a very easy build and with very few features aimed at making it easy for users to locate what they are looking for quickly. Vertical Response usually tends to look unattractive when compared with other email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact, and this is because it is not as modern as they are. Messages, Contacts, Forms, and Surveys are the main tools you would locate on the main menu of Vertical Response.

MailChimp and Constant Contact, on the other hand, have so many tools and functionalities, and these include:

  • Custom fields and content
  • Customizable email templates
  • Image editing
  • Drag and drop editor
  • List Segmentation
  • WYSIWYG editor (i.e., what you see is what you get)
  • Contact Management
  • Image Storage
  • Social media sharing and integration
  • Event Management
  • Mobile app interface
  • Split testing
  • Autoresponders
  • Engagement reports
  • Surveys

It should, however, be noted that even though these two platforms have these features in common, the Mailchimp is better in terms of engagement reports. Mailchimp has a more user-friendly and intuitive reporting interface than Constant Contact and even the Vertical Response. Constant Contact, on the other hand, is better when it comes to the email templates, and this is because it provides more designs and styles which can be categorized by function and industry.

WHAT'S THE BEST EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM?

A comparison of these email marketing platforms has been given in detail above. There are several other email marketing platforms out there like HubSpot, Pabbly, Gist, Benchmark, MoonMail, Mailjet, and so on. However, there can only be one best, and this completely depends on certain features.

For example, if the feature used to determine the best is Automation, the Mailchimp would be the winner, and this is because of its highly advanced automation features. This feature makes it possible for users to tailor their email based on their customer's activity. Mailchimp also has more advanced A/B testing features and reporting features compared to the other two platforms. MailChimp also has the most flexible pricing system and offers when compared to Constant Contact and Vertical Response.

In terms of Deliverability, it would be a tie because all the three email marketing platforms offer Deliverability of more than 96%, which is an excellent deliverability rate that cannot be seen on other email marketing platforms.

When it comes to ease of use, Vertical Response is the best email marketing platform. As mentioned above, it has the easiest to understand interface with very few tools and functionalities that make it very easy for people who do not have any experience with email marketing software to use easily.

Constant Contact has the best customer care services. It offers phone support, unlike Mailchimp, that does not offer phone support. Vertical Response also has good customer support; however, it cannot be compared to that of Constant Contact. This does not mean that the other platforms have a poor customer support service. It is important to note that they all provide support via email and also with the aid of live chatbots sometimes, and these services are made available on 24/7 bases.

In conclusion, the benefits of email marketing platforms cannot be overemphasized, and it is important to note that email marketing is the best option for both small-sized and large-sized businesses. Choosing the best email marketing platform completely depends on your preference, and this article would help you make the best decision for your business.

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