By the year 2024, the number of people using email will grow to 4.48 billion. That means an effective email marketing strategy is crucial for your business success.
But building a loyal customer base along with brand recognition and increased ROI is not a one-man show.
That is why we have email marketing tools in the market to automate this process for you. Choosing the one that meets your exact needs is, however, another debate.
Today, I will be doing a comparative analysis of the well-known email service providers, Constant Contact, and SendinBlue.
Both are intended to lift the burden off small businesses and startups. Constant Contact has a larger market share of around 6.19%, SendinBlue around 3.25%.
However, let me just point out that Constant Contact is a 1995 babe while SendinBlue came into play in 2012. So hey, being relatively a newcomer, they aren’t doing bad at all.
Constant Contact is a perfect solution for small businesses with simple email marketing requirements.
SendinBlue, on the other hand, is an all-in-one email marketing tool that takes care of all aspects of your marketing needs. It’s like a cheaper MailChimp alternative with more features.
Let’s take a deep dive into what the two email marketing tools have to offer.
Ready? Let’s go!
- Constant Contact has an intuitive UI with an extremely easy to use drag and drop editor. No learning curve required so you’ll hit the ground running.
- It lets you tag your customers and segment them according to their behavior helping you create hyper-targeted emails. The custom fields provide more details for segmentation while the tags help you understand audience-specific behavior.
- The deliverability rate is off-the-hook so you’re assured of your audience reading your emails. They follow the best practices ensuring you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation.
- The detailed analytical reports show heat maps, device stats, and campaign comparisons. Not forgetting social media stats like views, clicks, shares, and tweets.
- It has numerous responsive email templates that can be easily customized to make you stand out from the pack. Plus their ‘brand your email’ feature helps you create emails that match your brand and maintain brand consistency.
- It has tight integration with Shopify making it suitable for eCommerce stores. You’re able to send abandoned cart emails, reminders, create segment lists, and drag and drop products to your email with just one click.
- It offers you one of the longest free trial periods in the market (30-days).
- Its landing page drag and drop editor offers a powerful and flexible customization option. You can easily create high-converting landing pages with the editor.
- They have a great automation workflow that allows you to add many triggers and conditions to provide unique and customized emails to the customers. Plus they offer you several pre-made workflow templates to help you out if you don’t know how to create workflows.
- It has state-of-art-bulk transactional email capabilities making it great for marketers who want to run numerous campaign blasts.
- SendinBlue offers SMS and social media marketing tools. You don’t have to get a separate tool to run your social media and SMS platform. You’ll get it all under one roof.
- Customer support is quick to respond. You’ll get an almost instant reply with the live chat option. Also, their FAQ section is in 6 languages catering to almost all popular official languages.
- They have a great A/B testing feature that takes into account different aspects of your emails. You can test email content, subject lines, CTAs, images, buttons, workflows, SMSes, and so much more.
- It has a free forever version with all the basic email marketing features. And the paid plans are affordable.
Constant Contact vs SendinBlue
UI makes or breaks a brand’s customer base. It can turn visitors into potential clients or repulse them.
Let’s talk about Constant Contact.
They honestly have one of the simplest interfaces I have come across. What else can I say when it’s simpler than MailChimp and ConvertKit?
Beginners and non-techy people will definitely hit the ground running.
Well, if you love fancy you might say the interface is a bit old-school.
Also, you might not see all the features at a glance. Take for instance you want to add subscriber opt-ins, I was irritated by the number of clicks I had to make before I figured it out.
The good thing is that they come to your rescue when you’re stuck. They’ll automatically play a small clip to guide you through the process.
SendinBlue, on the other hand, has a pretty modern interface with a great combination of color, beautiful design, and theme. This combination makes it look more engaging.
The data is also well organized to help users see everything at a glance. You’ll find 4 tabs: Campaigns, Automations, Transactional, and Contacts.
The only catch is that beginners or non-tech savvy people might be thrown a curveball upon landing on the platform. So you’ll have a bit to learn but the good thing is that they take you step by step, making it easier to grasp.
Winner: Constant Contact. A platform that’s simpler to use than MailChimp deserves to take it home. SendinBlue is also very easy to learn only that it’s not MailerLite level like Constant Contact.
This is the space that Constant Contact shines.
They will make it easy for you to upload your contacts through excel files, copy/paste, typing, or use apps like Outlook, Salesforce, and pretty much any big CRM platform.
The feature of Constant Contact that fascinates me the most is the use of “tag” to group or categorize your contacts based on their behavior, location, or how they came into your list.
Also, thanks to their in-depth integration with Shopify, you can use the data from your store to segment and tag your contacts. With this, you get to create hyper-targeted emails and send them to the right audience at the right time.
I also loved that you can add as many or as few custom fields as you want and segment lists.
If you’ve used Ontraport then you’ll feel pretty much at home here. So if you think you have any customer information that will help increase your sales, add it to the records.
From personal notes to phone numbers, addresses, contact fields, and salesperson involved.
The only bummer comes when editing a record. You can’t edit multiple records at the same time. You have to load each record and manually update the field.
They also have an automatic list cleaning feature that also removes duplicate contacts and so saves you the fuss of removing them manually.
I did a Constant Contact alternatives article before and if you need an alternative for list management, go for ActiveCampaign.
The most preferable method to import contacts in Sendinblue is using a CSV or TXT file.
You can use WordPress, Pipe drive, Salesforce, etc. to help you download your contact list in CSV format, then import it to SendinBlue.
Now, this is where things get a bit murky.
Instead of segments, SendinBlue has filters. Who calls segment filters?
So first of all, I was confused looking all over for segments and tags. But I caught up and saw the filters act as segments. Meaning, you can filter your contacts based on their behavior or contact field criteria.
But I loved that you can set automated workflows to help you in creating lists based on contact demographics and lead scores. So despite the confusion at the beginning, they got to redeem themselves with this.
Winner: Constant Contact. The custom records and tagging system gives them an edge as it makes it super easy to send highly-customized emails. SendinBlue is a bit confusing when it comes to list management.
Well, Constant Contact is loaded with over 500 email templates.
You’ve got an ala carte of templates that can make you go crazy. Perfect if you need to speed things up, just pick a template, customize it, and use it to send emails.
The drag and drop email editor is responsive, intuitive, and easy to use. You can add images, tweak text, color, add blog post teaser, social media links, etc., and make your email stand out.
The ‘brand your email’ is a helpful feature, allowing you to generate layouts according to your company’s color palette and logo.
And you have a library of graphics to add to your emails along with buttons, videos, and dividers, etc. Plus access to millions of stock photos and storage space of 2GB.
Also, you can opt to create your template from scratch using HTML/CSS.
If you’ve used GetResponse you’ll find that Constant Contact can rival them in email templates. The only difference is that they don’t have the same raw power in customization.
GetResponse is a big-wig playing on a different field from Constant Contact.
You have access to more than 65 templates, which are beautifully designed and are responsive. Okay, they are kind of lazy here, all the templates have the same design but different layouts. SendinBlue, seriously?
You can choose any category of newsletters like welcome emails, holidays, greetings, birthdays, and general business promotion templates.
Customization is easy using the drag and drop editor. You’re able to add headers, text, images, and even CTAs. Plus you can preview your email in different versions of desktop, mobile, and tablet.
If you want to go big and stand out, you have the option to code your own template.
Winner: Constant Contact. You have hundreds of templates to choose from with a smooth drag-and-drop email editor that helps you create emails that pack a punch.
Automation is the bread and butter of email marketing. One of the major reasons that people opt for marketing tools is to ease most of their work.
So if that’s not the case, why commit to a relationship when you’re the only one doing all the work?
I don’t know where to start with Constant Contact. And it’s no for lack of trying but, there is basically nothing to report.
Well, at least you can send automated welcome emails, birthday, and anniversary emails. We have cheaper tools in the market like MailChimp and Moosend that are a thousand miles away in automation.
Like everything else, creating a workflow is super easy. You only work with 4 triggers. Subscriber joining a list, open the email, click any link, and click a specific link. How complicated can things get?
Basically, no personalization and forget the if/then/else logic.
Coming from such a disappointment, SendinBlue made me feel like a kid in a toy store.
Whether you’re in for complex automation workflows or simple email series, you’re sorted. They are so much better than MailChimp but not at the same level as Drip, or ActiveCampaign.
The automation builder in SendinBlue can be categorized into two parts.
One, the beginner levels, which includes birthdays, anniversaries, and welcome email series. Two, advanced automation which involves creating advanced workflows to give each audience a personalized experience with your brand.
The advanced workflows use if/then/else logic to create complex email sequences. And you can use this to add your contacts into different filters (segments) based on their demographics or activity.
If you don’t want to create a workflow from scratch, they have ready-to-use workflow templates for welcome emails, Birthday Messages, Abandoned Carts, Page visits, Website Visit, Product Purchase, and activity-based templates.
Unlike Constant Contact, SendinBlue offers automation across all their tiers. The little automation on Constant Contact is for people who pay up. I won’t ask what automation but …
Winner: SendinBlue. They win hands down. Basic automation? Check! Advanced automation? Check! Pre-made automation templates? Double-check! What’s not to love?
Let me say it up. Constant Contact’s AB testing feature will disappoint you.
You can only test subject lines. Period. You create two versions and send them to your customers. After a set period of time, the winner is automatically sent to your whole list.
And that’s about it. No automation split testing. No landing page split testing. No content or sender split testing. Period.
With the price tag?! MailerLite does a better job here and it’s way cheaper. MailChimp too.
Allow me to paint the town red with SendinBlue after the Constant Contact showdown.
With SendinBlue, you can test email content, subject lines, CTAs, images, buttons, and so much more.
Partitioning your contact list for testing is entirely under your control along with setting up the winning criteria. You can determine the winner based on the highest clicks or open rate.
Not to mention you can test broadcasts, workflows, and SMSes. How cool is that?
Winner: SendinBlue. Their flexible AB testing features look into all different aspects of your email, workflow, and SMS.
E-commerce CRM is an important factor for e-sellers.
Constant Contact has in-depth integration with Shopify and Woocommerce giving it an edge over other tools.
This enables you to send abandoned cart emails, reminders, create segment lists, and drag and drop products to your email with just one click. But to make full use of its CRM, you need to upgrade to the Email Plus plan.
I also came across a really cool feature called the action block. They make it possible for you to display your products, show discount codes, countdown timers, coupons, surveys, and polls. Basically, they make your eCommerce email as engaging as possible.
If you have an online store and you want to capitalize on the eCommerce behavior of your customers, then SendinBlue is the place to go.
First, the advanced automation workflows give you over 350K options to automate your sales and marketing process.
From sending emails, SMSes, tracking individual contacts and updating your contact database. Basically, it gives you a granular view of your eCommerce.
It’s really awesome for small eCommerce businesses that run blast campaigns but it doesn’t have the complexity designed for big businesses. You can look at HubSpot or Pardot for that.
Winner: SendinBlue. Both platforms were developed with small business needs in mind but SendinBlue takes it a notch higher. It has a very comprehensive in-built CRM functionality making it suitable for eCommerce. It’s definitely not Klaviyo but it makes me happy.
Landing pages are among the first places your customers get to engage with your brand one-on-one. Of course, you need it to stand out.
Constant contact has hundreds of ready-to-use templates if you don’t want to create one from scratch. This is another similarity they have with GetResponse only that the GetResponce landing page builder is more robust.
Their landing page editor is super simple to use. The drag and drop builder is intuitive and responsive allowing you to customize your page as you see fit.
And the cherry on top, they have shoppable landing pages for you too to sell your products and services online. It has everything you need including payment systems integration.
You can also create popup forms and embedded forms but sadly, there’s no customization available for them. And they only allow a maximum of 200 subscribers a day.
The good thing is that as soon as your visitors sign up, you can start nurturing your leads and view detailed insights of your landing page performance.
In walks SendinBlue.
Well, the landing page option is only available for their Premium and Enterprise plans. But you have pretty modern templates and an easy to use interface.
The templates aren’t as many as on Constant Contact but they are highly customizable. The drag and drop landing page builder makes it easy to create high-converting pages.
Plus just like on Constant Contact, you can access thousands of royalty-free stock photos to make your landing pages stand out.
When it comes to forms, SendinBlue stands out. They have cool personalization features that allow adding captcha verification, double and single opt-in options, among others. With this, you can go all out when creating your pop-up or embedded forms.
Winner: Constant Contact. And I have gone with them because landing pages on the SendinBlue landing page option is for the Premium and Enterprise plan.
However, I have a rule to never compromise landing page customization for anything. And SendinBlue has a more powerful landing page editor than Constant Contact.
Reports and analytics help you in understanding the performance of your campaigns and help you keep a track record of your customers at the same time.
Constant Contact has a state-of-the-art reporting feature. It allows you to see the basics like open rate, click rate, bounces, unsubscriptions, etc.
And they go a notch higher and give you advanced reporting stats. You can view campaign comparisons, heat maps, and engagement reports.
Moreover, showing social media stats is also like a breeze for Constant Contact.
Let’s move over to SendinBlue.
You’ll also get to know the basic statistics such as total sent, total recipients, total clicks, total unsubscribed, total hard bounces, open rate, click rate, etc.
Basic real-time reporting is available even in its free plan. But if you want to view heatmaps, geography, and device reports, then you have to jump over to their Premium plan.
Winner: Tie. ConstantContact gave a cutthroat competition to SendinBlue here. They both have a robust analytics tool.
In email marketing, you need support from other platforms or apps in order to grow.
When we talk of Constant Contact, it has more than 450+ integrations in total. It has strong and tight relationships with huge platforms like Amazon, PayPal, and Facebook Lead ads, etc.
And with Zapier on board, you have access to thousands of applications.
Similarly, Sendinblue also has integrations with major apps like Facebook, WordPress, Amazon, Bigcommerce, Magento, Woocommerce, and hundreds of other websites.
Winner: Tie. They both host hundreds of apps that can natively integrate with the platform.
When stuck along the way, a quick customer support representative will be no less than SuperMan for you!
Constant Contact offers email, live chat, and phone support along with an extensive knowledge base. Actually, their library has 90K+ articles, guides, and tutorials. However, phone support is not available 24/7 but the hours are still flexible.
They are also quite active on social media and are a vibrant community. Basically, they have a wide variety of support options for you. They are more like ConvertKit in this regard.
SendinBlue, on the other hand, has decent customer support. They offer email support in all of their plans while the phone and live chat options are available only in Premium and Enterprise plans.
They also have a resourceful FAQ section that is available in 6 languages.
Winner: Constant Contact. They offer their customers a wide variety of support options. . They still do not support champs like Aweber but they’re pretty responsive.
We are finally here to answer the spiciest question of all: which service offers you good value for money?
Constant Contact has one of the longest free trial periods in the market today for 30-days. And not to be left behind, they introduced a forever free plan of up to 100 subscribers.
They have two tiers: Email and Email Plus. The Plus plan differs by offering advanced eCommerce marketing, surveys, and customizable pop-up forms.
SendinBlue also has a forever free plan for up to 300 emails a day.
It comes with 3 other pricing plans: Lite, Premium, and Enterprise. I love that their plans are pretty much affordable.
Winner: SendinBlue. They offer cheap pricing packages as compared to Constant Contact. But Constant Contact’s advanced features can be accessed in their $45 plan instead of $65 for SendinBlue.
There you go. You have all the down and dirty as well as the highs of these two fantastic email marketing tools.
I know some people may choose to go all the way to the conclusion, so to sum it up for you:
Use Constant Contact if:
- You’re a small business with simple email marketing needs.
- You’re big on fancy email templates and landing pages. You have over 500 templates with Constant Contact.
- You need a detailed list management tool. They have a good tag-based system with custom fields to help in creating highly-customized emails.
- You need detailed reporting and analytics for your campaigns. You get the basics like open rate, click rate, bounces, unsubscriptions, etc., and advanced reporting with campaign comparisons, heat maps, and engagement reports.
Use SendinBlue if:
- You need to send one-on-one trigger-based campaigns and transactional emails.
- You are big on automation. It will give you the ability to create complex if/then/else workflows that ensure your customers get relevant emails at the right time.
- You’re looking for an all-in-one business email marketing tool on a budget. More like another MailChimp but with cheaper plans.
- You’re an eCommerce looking for a versatile marketing hub. They have the ability to grow your relationship with your audience and convert them to loyal clients.
What’s it going to be?