Even in the 21st century, email marketing is exactly what a doctor would prescribe to any online entrepreneur, blogger, or creative who wants to grow their business.
A study done by Capterra evidenced that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, your ROI is $45.
The number of email marketing tools available is increasing by the day. And if you are shopping for one, you must have come across either Constant Contact or ConvertKit.
Constant Contact is quite an oldie in internet years. One thing I love about them is how they have kept evolving over the years.
They have morphed from just being an email marketing platform to tackling social media and media buying. Anyone running an SMB should definitely shortlist Constant Contact.
ConvertKit, on the other hand, is a kid in comparison. Nathan Barry unleashed this baby in 2013.
And I have to admit regardless of being young, it has covered strides in marketing automation that Constant Contact hasn’t seen yet.
I have previously taken Constant Contact head to head with Mailchimp. So today, I am so excited to take on ConvertKit.
Let’s fire up and tear down these two giants to see which one of them remains the big man standing.
- They have quite a wide variety of easily customizable email templates while ConvertKit is pretty basic.
- Their drag and drop builder is hyper-responsive making it easy to build email templates that stand out from the masses.
- They offer a wide range of landing page templates.
- They have numerous native integration options.
- It has in-depth integration with Shopify taking your eCommerce store conversions a notch higher.
- They offer detailed reporting and analytics ensuring you get the engagement level and performance of your campaigns.
- It is very easy to use and beginner-friendly.
- When it comes to personalized automation, ConvertKit offers advanced features ensuring you send hyper-targeted emails.
- They have an excellent visual workflow builder taking your email campaigns a notch higher.
- They have excellent subscriber-tagging functionality that allows them to drill down your contacts’ activities and add the necessary tags and segments.
- They have numerous support options for their customers.
Constant Contact vs ConvertKit
Like with websites and customer-facing platforms, the interface of an email marketing tool can be a deal-breaker.
Yes. Nobody wants to struggle on a crappy or glitchy system.
I consider an interface to be “easy-to-use” if I can learn to navigate a tool with ease without referring to the manuals over and over. Who has that time to read manuals anyway?
Constant Contact has a clean, intuitive interface that undoubtedly appeals to many. Okay, it might look a bit old-school but still elegant.
It was definitely built with user-friendliness in mind as even beginners can learn on the go.
Thanks to the drag-and-drop editor, it’s very easy to integrate images, text, buttons, and videos on email templates.
The entire process is surprisingly smooth and simple even in comparison to big shots like Mailchimp. Actually, it reminds me of Mailerlite simplicity.
However, you don’t get to see all features at a glance. I got bored when looking for some subscriber opt-ins as I had to make many unnecessary clicks.
On the positive side, if you get stuck, they’ll give you a walk of the process by automatically playing a demo video. How cool is that?
ConvertKit has a killer interface. It is simple yet all the functionality is presented professionally. You get everything on the same screen without clicking away aimlessly. Basically, the dashboard is very easy to navigate even for a newbie.
You see everything at a glance.
It’s all about drag and drop functionality. Things can’t get easier than that!
You won’t have any problem uploading contacts and all the features you need can be viewed at a glance.
The interface loads super fast. Moving from point A to B is a breeze and importing your existing mailing list a walk in the park.
But with all the goodness, the ConvertKit team mess with new users by requiring you to have a pre-existing mailing list. You might want to think about getting one before joining ConvertKit.
Winner: Tie. These two tools have intuitive, fast-loading, and feature-rich interfaces. Any beginner will be at home on either platform.
List management features are among the key factors you should consider before committing to a long-term relationship.
With Constant Contact, you can initiate and maintain contact with your website visitors quickly.
First, creating a mailing list is super easy. If you are already transacting with some customers, you’ll simply import their contacts.
And you can do this from Google contacts, Microsoft Outlook contacts, and other popular CRMs. Also, you can use excel, CSV, XLS, or TXT files.
But what impressed me in the whole process is how it merged the duplicate contacts. It was so exciting.
Now let’s get to the main dish. The email segmentation feature allows you to assign segments and tags to your contacts. You can track how they came in, their location, interests, activities, etc.
If you’ve got a Shopify store, you can use the data from your store to segment and tag your contacts.
This way, you get to keep track of every activity a customer takes enabling you to send them hyper-targeted emails at the right time.
With Constant Contact, you can use custom form fields to collect as much information as you need.
It’s very similar to Ontraport in this regard. It shows you any contact details you need including personal notes, phone numbers, addresses, contact fields, or salesperson.
The only quibble I have with them is the struggle I went through trying to edit a record. There is no way to add one detail to several contacts at a go. The only option is manually loading and updating every record individually.
Tedious, I know!
Further, Constant Contact provides you with more avenues to collect contacts. Apart from your website, you can also get contacts through social media like Facebook Lead Ads.
Oh! They have an automatic email list cleaner that finds duplicates and eliminates inactive users. The upside, you only pay for what you are actually using.
We already said importing subscribers on ConvertKit is a walk in the park.
But having a list is not everything, and ConvertKit that. It was developed to grow your email list and send them targeted emails using their tag-based system. Believe me, it doesn’t disappoint.
It has an advanced mailing list management feature that allows you to segment and tag your audience based on their behavior. They leverage their powerful automation to help you tag your audience and help them move from one segment to another.
And if you feel like some tags are related, you can always ‘merge tags’ and send dynamic emails to the combined segment.
As ConvertKit was developed by a blogger, he couldn’t overlook WordPress.
The ConvertKit WordPress plugin keeps a keen eye on your users and automatically tags them depending on their activity. You will definitely need this if you value lead scoring.
Winner: ConvertKit. They revolve around an intuitive tag-based system with tagging and segmentation superpowers that empower you to create laser-targeted emails.
Constant Contact isn’t so bad either especially for Shopify store owners as you can skyrocket conversions with the hyper-targeted emails.
Marketing automation is a deal-breaker or closer in email marketing. There are too many repetitive tasks to handle email marketing.
When compared to its major competitors like Mailchimp, Constant Contact automation is pretty basic.
Honestly, this is one place its bare-bones shocked me. You expect so much better from such a powerful name, not mentioning the price tag associated with it. Mailchimp and Moosend are way cheaper and you get more oomph.
Enough of complaining and let me give you a front-row seat to see my disappointment.
Well, they have some level of automation. Four trigger options: contact joins a list, open the email, click any link, and click a specific link.
On the bright side, creating a workflow sequence is pretty much simple. You don’t have loads of options for complex workflows making it easy for beginners to get on board. And you can set autoresponders for birthdays and anniversaries.
And adding salt to the injury, the little automation they have falls under the Plus pricing plan.
My advice, if you need advanced automation, ConvertKit is here.
Automation is the one thing that makes ConvertKit stand out from the masses.
They have a powerful but simple visual automation editor. It’s very similar to what you’ll see on Drip or ActiveCampaign. Only that their trigger and action system is stupidly easy and every bit as streamlined as you’d imagine.
Plus, it’s much faster compared to the sluggish ActiveCampaign workflow builder and so much cleaner.
And to top it off, everything takes place inline – meaning, all edits can be made inside the workflows. This is the one place that it shines over Drip.
However, like everything else in ConvertKit, automation was built with a blogger in mind. Serial marketers and eCommerce owners should stick to Drip or ActiveCampaign because of their robust flexibility.
Winner: ConvertKit. You’ll get effective workflows in a record of time. There is absolutely no competition with Constant Contact here. ConvertKit takes all the way to the home run.
This is one area that Constant Contact shines.
You can literally fog gaga with the numerous email templates available. i.e. 500+.
And the drag and drop email editor just sweetens the pot.
It’s responsive, intuitive, and allows you to easily customize your emails. Your options are limitless, from adding texts to adjusting colors, add blog post teasers, social media links, logos, etc.
And you have a media library (up to 2GB) to store all your goodies. Oh! If you love stock photography, Constant Contact allows you to access free and paid photos directly from your account.
Let me just point out that they are a haven for anyone who loves fancy emails. As if that’s not enough, you can use your HTML and CSS skills to create unique templates.
I won’t beat around the bush, you won’t get anything fancy.
But hey, their main customers don’t need fancy just functions.
Well, you have like 5 ready-to-use templates. Luckily, you can create your own using code or HTML. If you don’t have the know-how, sorry. But you can opt for text-only emails.
On the bright side, the available templates have a modern look and are easy to customize.
Honestly, in terms of email customization and design, ConvertKit is just lazy.
Winner: Constant Contact. It has hundreds of email templates that are easy to customize thanks to the seamless drag and drop editor. It’s like GetResponse in this regard.
With Constant Contact, you have access to hundreds of customizable pre-built landing pages. They can easily go toe to toe with GetResponse.
Not to mention you have more freedom as far as the layout to the colors and branding. The drag and drop landing page editor is pretty straight forward and very responsive.
Anyone who has used Squarespace or Wix can relate. However, the customizability available with the platforms cannot be achieved with Constant Contact.
Even Mailchimp does a better job in terms of raw power and flexibility of the landing page editor.
But creating forms is straightforward, with tens of form elements at your disposal. Whether it’s popups or embedded forms you are good to go. But, they have zero form customization.
Another thing that broke my heart is they only allow a maximum of 200 signups a day for embedded forms. Anyone with more signups, start preparing a regret email for your audience.
Like with the email templates, ConvertKit does not provide many landing page templates. There are less than ten to be precise.
Luckily, they are editable, and you can customize the wording to fit your brand. If you are a CSS freak, you can give your landing page more customization.
And if you are looking to create forms, then be ready to make do with the basic structures. You can have forms in any style, from inline to modal, sticky-bar, or slide-in form. The only catch, they’ll be super basic.
Winner: Constant Contact. It can actually rival GetResponse in the wide range of templates. However, they should work on customization, functionality, and flexibility.
Ecommerce website owners need email marketing tools that can handle their business like a pro.
Constant Contact brings a wealth of eCommerce features alongside eCommerce integrations.
It has an in-depth integration with Shopify that takes your eCommerce game up a notch. Not to disappoint you, but they are not yet like the Klaviyo-Shopify love life. However, they are worthy contenders.
The integration is your magic pill to drag and drop products at ease, send abandoned cart emails, reminders, and create segment lists with just one click. Any retailer or reseller can leverage this tool for their direct-to-consumer conversions.
And the best part, they have these little things called ‘Action blocks.’ They can be added to your emails to showcase products, discount codes, coupons, surveys, polls, you name it.
Not forgetting that you can also integrate with Woocommerce, Bigcommerce, Volusion, and 3D cart. What more are you looking for?
Unfortunately, our beloved ConvertKit was primarily built to favor bloggers and not eCommerce shop owners. It does not have functional eCommerce tools, and neither does it have a CRM system.
Winner: Constant Contact. They have wrestled the opponent to the ground. Its in-depth one-click integration with Shopify is a major boost for eCommerce SMBs.
Reports help stay on the top of the game by showing you what email marketing efforts work best with your audience.
With Constant Contact, the level of reporting is superb. You get a complete overview and understanding of how your email campaigns are performing.
Constant Contact is armed to the tooth to give you state-of-the-art engagement reports that cover everything. From open rates to click rates, unsubscribes, bounce rate, and unopened emails.
Additionally, you get to see the user interaction heat maps that let you know which parts get attention from the readers. Such information can help you plan and improve future campaigns and increase engagements.
Still with me?
I also discovered they have a campaign comparison report that allows you to compare the performance of your campaigns and see which worked best.
Constant Contact also comes from social media tracking functionality. You’re able to see the social media metrics like the number of social shares, views, retweets, etc.
And have you heard about the ROI Analysis report before?
Well, Constant Contact is one of the few email marketing tools that can estimate whether you are getting your ROI. Why spend money if you’re not making any gains?
Over to ConvertKit. They have to pull their socks on this.
The reporting features available with this platform do not measure up to its popularity. Still, you get the very basic measurements like the number of unsubscribes, clicks, and email open rates.
More outrageously, the platform does not offer reporting capabilities for email bounce rates, eCommerce tracking, heat maps, and social media reports. As if that is not awkward enough, ConvertKit does not integrate with Google analytics.
Sorry! But coming from Constant Contact, they leave a lot to be desired.
I have to keep reminding myself simplicity is their main forte and they have stuck to it.
Winner: Constant Contact. They have a cut-throat and robust reporting functionality. However, if you don’t want to geek on numbers, ConvertKit is a winner.
I cannot hide my dissatisfaction with the A/B testing capabilities provided by both Constant Contact and Convertkit. They both suck.
With Constant Contact, you have split testing for email subject lines alone. You cannot split test landing pages, email content, or delivery times.
And, you can only conduct email subject split testing on broadcast emails. Everything else remains a dream. I won’t even get into automation A/B testing.
Not that ConvertKit is any better.
We’re rowing the same boat. Nothing major to report.
Copy and paste.
Winner: Tie. Neither of the two is better. Honestly cheaper tools like Mailchimp, Moosend, or Mailerlite do it better. Come on!
I carried out email deliverability test putting both Constant Contact and ConvertKit to task with the 5 most popular email clients. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and
iCloud. Both have SPF/DKIM verifications.
Although this was a while back, Constant Contact hit the nail on the head. Their email deliverability is excellent.
You have to get consent verification from every audience before adding them to your mailing list. This has increased their deliverability and open rate.
ConvertKit is pretty strict when it comes to vetting people who use their products.
Thanks to this limitation they have pretty decent deliverability. Also, they use highly sought after Mailgun servers.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms have great deliverability rates. Their strict policies pay off.
Constant Contact has made a name in the industry, and the number of integrations is growing each day.
They natively integrate with over 400 applications, either paid or free to use.
The most critical integrations that light up my skin include Google Analytics for advanced insights, eCommerce platforms, and Facebook Lead Ads. Also, Zapier allows them to get hooked to a thousand other applications.
They don’t have too many integrations, but they have what their users need.
Some of the necessary integrations include Facebook Lead ads, Click Funnels, Google Sheets, and Squarespace. In addition, Zapier caters to anything else you might need.
Winner: Constant Contact wins hands down. They give you access to every tool you’ll need to run a successful email campaign.
We no longer live in the era when people would patiently wait on a call line. This instant gratification age has made or broken brands. In a world of instant gratification, businesses have had to pull up their sick with regards to response time.
Constant Contact has 24/7 live chat support, email, a rich library of support articles (over 90,000), a vibrant community, and an active social media presence. Besides, they have also listed their phone number on their website.
ConvertKit seems to be using every possible route to reach its users.
They have dedicated social media handles, an on-site live chat platform, an active community, and a slack channel through which users can get assistance.
Additionally, they offer support via email and have a unique, personalized introductory video for onboarding.
Not forgetting over 100 support articles, including how-to guides.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms have really put their best foot forward in solving their customer’s problems. However, Aweber is still ahead of the pack when it comes to support.
The devil usually hides in the details. You’ve got to know exactly what you get with your package.
Constant Contact introduced a forever free plan the other day for up to 100 subscribers. They also offer a 30-day free trial on their two plans Email and Email Plus. The lowest price is $20/month.
With Email plus you get features like automation, surveys, and customizable sign-up forms.
With ConvertKit, subscription starts from $29/month/1000 subscribers.
They have a free plan for up to 500 subscribers but you can only send broadcasts and create landing pages with it.
You have a 14-days free trial and a 30-days money-back guarantee.
Winner: ConvertKit. A difference of $9 is significant for the same number of subscribers. However, if you’re starting on a budget, Mailchimp or Drip are better bets.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve come to the end of our review.
Now, the ball is in your hands. What’s it going to be?
Use Constant Contact if:
- You’re an SMB or an eCommerce store owner.
- You need numerous and fancy email and landing page templates.
- You need detailed analytics for your campaigns.
Use ConvertKit if:
- You are a blogger or creator. It was developed by a content creator (Nathan) for his fellow creators.
- You need basic email templates and landing pages.
- You need simple reporting and analytics.
The choice is yours.