Top 5 Alternatives To Constant Contact
Constant Contact (read our review) is one of the premium options for email marketing. Everything just… works. This full suite of marketing tools takes mundane email marketing to a whole new level with social media, text, and more, all designed to help you better reach your customers. It is the kind of app guaranteed to make a difference to your business in the hands of a team worth their salt. Unfortunately, this premium service comes at a premium price. Our biggest criticism of Constant Contact is that it is more expensive than most of its competitors, and comes with fewer standard features. Some of you out there will be happy to pay the extra cost in exchange for an app that is so solid, but others will be looking for better value. With that in mind, we have rounded up a few great alternatives to Constant Contact. Let’s get into the comparison.
If your goal is to build a large subscriber base, but you don’t plan on sending huge amounts of emails (think monthly newsletters, rather than daily reminders), SendinBlue (read our review) might be your best bet. There was a time when this app lagged behind some of its competitors (Constant Contact included), but some recent updates in the last year or so have brought it up to speed. SendinBlue now offers automated campaigns, reporting, and more. Personally, I think the best trick from this app is their geographic heat map, allowing you to see the successes and struggles of your campaign represented on a global map. Use it to try and figure out why your product is strangely successful in southeast Texas or central Maine!
SendinBlue has been criticised in the past for a somewhat opaque interface that operates under a bit of a learning curve. In my most recent test, I found that while I wouldn’t give this app an award for usability, I did not find any aspect of the program overly tasking either. Most buttons and features are where you would expect them to be, and it is relatively easy to figure out how to create, send, and analyze your campaigns. In particular, I found the email templates eminently useful and usable.
As I mentioned above, SendinBlue gives incredible bang-for-buck. You get unlimited subscribers for free. For $25/month, you also get unlimited daily emails. All told, for a cool $66/month, you can send hundreds of thousands of emails per month, and gain access to SendinBlue’s most advanced features.
Verdict: Especially for smaller businesses sending lower volumes of emails, there are few better choices than SendinBlue
Benchmark (read our review) brings the heat to the Email Marketing battle with more than 400 templates in their library. Separated into 19 categories, these templates may seem overwhelming to some, but options are generally a good thing. Combine the template library with survey and video support within emails, throw in the option for dedicated email servers and a wealth of integrations, and Benchmark enters the fray as a full-featured alternative to Constant Contact. Benchmark also provides you access to a code editor to tweak your emails precisely, if you have the skills to make it work.
In terms of ease-of-use, Benchmark is as straightforward as you could wish. Nearly all major ESP’s (email service providers) these days go out of their way to lower the learning curve for their products, but that does not diminish Benchmark’s achievement with the pure usability of this app. When I tested it, it felt a bit like the digital equivalent of sinking into your favorite chair — it was that comfy.
Pricing wise, Benchmark is consistently more affordable that Constant Contact, and also seems capable of handling a higher volume of emails and subscribers. Where Constant Contact tops out at 50,000 subscribers, Benchmark raises the bar with support for over 7 million.
Verdict: If your needs are pure email marketing, Benchmark is the clear winner over Constant Contact.
Active Campaign (read our review) is one of the most comprehensive and advanced email marketing apps we have reviewed here at Merchant Maverick. While most ESPs these days provide some level of automation, few take the concept quite as far as Active Campaign. This app allows you to break your emails down into segments, creating several versions of each component of your emails. From there, the black magic sorcery that is the code running this app customizes each segment to each subscriber. Add on to that detailed automation to encourage sales, and you have a potent weapon in converting interested customers into devoted followers.
If all that sounds as though it might be complicated…it is. Extremely. However, despite the steep learning curve, most users report feeling empowered to use the advanced features from Active Campaign because of extensive customer support options. Both self-service and in-person options receive high marks of appreciation from users and ensure that though there are many features to master here, none of them seem entirely out of reach.
One of the best things about Active Campaign is the value that it represents. While not cheap on the same level as SendinBlue, it is a consistent surprise that so many advanced features are on offer in this app for such a low price. I will note, however, that while the lower levels of Active Campaign are relatively affordable, the upper echelons cost considerably more, placing them outside the reach, and more importantly, the pocketbooks, of most small businesses.
Verdict: Clearly intended for enterprise-level businesses, Active Campaign jams massive features into a relatively affordable package. For any team larger than a small mom-and-pop, this app is a no-brainer, and an easy winner in comparison to constant contact.
Whenever I hear about email marketing, I immediately think of MailChimp (read our review). That kind of brand identification has to come from somewhere, and it can’t just be because Mailchimp has an adorable mascot with a cute hat and a cheesy grin. With timezone-based sends, geolocation reporting, and integrated custom forms, users have a lot in this app to fall in love with. Add into that excellent automation, with an extensive library of pre-written scripts, and it is no surprise that MailChimp is one of the most recognized ESPs right now.
It also helps that this app is a joy to use. In terms of ease-of-use, Mailchimp is nearly peerless, with a fantastic email builder that practically begs users to put together campaigns. With a plethora of integrations and add-ons as well, it seems unlikely that you will need to switch off any apps or programs you are currently using. Overall, the usability of Mailchimp is off the charts.
This app also represents a good value for money, with a decent free plan and competitive prices for subscribers and emails all the way up to one million subs and over 12 million emails sent.
Verdict: This ESP could be a good fit for small businesses, large businesses, businesses that climb on rocks… You get the idea.
Campaign Monitor (read our review) bears the honor of being the highest reviewed ESP on Merchant Maverick. At first glance, this might seem something of a surprise; Campaign Monitor seems a bit lacking in the major feature department. It isn’t that there is anything missing, exactly, but many competitors go farther than Campaign Monitor in automation, reporting, and more.
Where this app truly shines, though, is in usability. Every single aspect of Campaign Monitor just clicks in a way I have not seen in any of its competitors. It is a bit like the difference between using a good kitchen knife and one of those cheap options from an aisle somewhere in WalMart. Sure, the other knife chops stuff, but there is a difference. Add into that the impressive 250 integrations on offer and you can see why we rate this app so highly. The team behind Campaign Monitor is willing to bend over backward if it means you are more comfortable using their product.
And gaining access to that excellent usability won’t even break the bank! Compared with alternatives like MailChimp or Benchmark, this app gets you better value for money. While I wouldn’t put it on quite the same level of affordability as SendinBlue, the odds are that you can confidently subscribe to Campaign Monitor without exceeding your marketing budgets.
Verdict: Though it lacks some of the advanced automation present in other ESPs, Campaign Monitor is a great choice for email marketing, especially for smaller businesses.
In the end, of course, your final decision should come down to what exactly you need from your ESP. While Constant Contact is an able contender for your subscription dollars, I would submit that in many instances, there may be a better option for your business. Looking for pure thrift and value? Take a look at SendinBlue or Campaign Monitor. Looking for more of an all-rounder with increased Automation? Benchmark or MailChimp might be better for you. Want access to some of the most impressive features in email marketing right now? Take a peek at Active Campaign.
Heard something you like? Want to learn more? Check out our email marketing software reviews, identify the best email marketing options and consider signing up for a free trial of the software that looks best for you. Looking for some email marketing tips? Drip has created a marketing automation guide that’s well worth a read. Better email marketing for your business could be just a few clicks away!
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