When it comes to choosing an email service provider aka an “ESP” there are many decisions to consider because there are a ton of fish in this pond.
If you are confused between the several companies from malerlite to infusionsoft and everything in between, this post will help you!
I’ll be starting today with the three top (1) most popular and (2) my favorites for the creative entrepreneur working solo or with a small team. If you are just building your first email list and need to get started – and BTW, you DO need to get started. Read more about why here in my post – here’s a rundown on what to look at for these top three:
Constant Contact vs Mailchimp vs Aweber? Don’t know which email service provider can serve you better?
MailChimp, Constant Contact and Aweber are the three heavyweight email marketing service providers for creative entrepreneurs with solo and small businesses.
Although there are many ESPs available, these three are most widely used with my clients. If you are not familiar with them, choosing the right one can be quite daunting.
Follow along as we explain the complete details of these email service providers and what they have to offer.
So, let’s get started…
Constant Contact Features
One of the things I love about Constant Contact is their all in one solution. You can create email lists, autoresponders (aka pre scheduled follow up / drip emails), event pages, coupons, text to join. They really have thought of many of the aspects an entrepreneur or small business will need.
They also offer a wide range of templates available that you can use while writing emails. You can choose one according to your industry and your business niche. This ESP also offers FREE unlimited storage of images to be used in the emails. The advanced autoresponder feature can be used for sending out promotions, coupons, and series of articles or set up reminders for appointments. You’ll need to look closely at all the features, because
Constant Contact Other Features:
Favorite Constant Contact Feature:
Here’s one great feature of Constant Contact that I love:Segmentation and tagging is the name of the game in email marketing these days. It gives you specifically targeted data to know what your subscribers are interested in receiving from you. Then, you send them what they want. Click To Tweet
Click Segmentation: Segmentation and tagging is the name of the game in email marketing these days. It gives you specifically targeted data to know what your subscribers are interested in receiving from you. Then, you just send them what they want. 🙂
or scroll down to see pricing comparison below…
MailChimp’s customization can be used while crafting an ideal email. You can drag and drop content to the editor. It also allows you to store an unlimited amount of images for FREE. The autoresponder is one of its major features of this ESP.
You’ll need to upgrade for a paid MailChimp plan to unlock all of the advanced features. But, if you are on a tight budget, this free plan is a fantastic place to start and you can always grow from there.
Some of those more advanced features include multiple Split Testing that allows you to find what works, and premium support.
Split testing is available in 4 variables. It enables you to test for the subject line from name, content and send time. However, only one split test can be run in the free plan and up to 8 in the paid plan.
MailChimp Other Features:
Ready to start with MailChimp, create your account here. Or scroll down to read more.
My favorite MailChimp Feature:
The MailChimp App: One of my favorite things about Mail Chimp is the Mail Chimp app. It is a seamless way to grow your list, tag clients with specific keywords right there amidst your conversation with someone.
Open the app, and type in their email details and create a tag for them, ie, location based, topic based, etc.
For example, if you consider yourself a creative entrepreneur, you probably have more than one skill, talent, or business venture up your sleeve and you may pull them out based on who you are talking with and what they need, Right?
So, with the MailChimp app, (also in the desktop version) you can create specific tags for your new subscriber (right there on the app) based on the info they want to receive from you: Dance Class, NYC local events, Website Design Services, Website DIY tools, – you see where I’m going with this?
I have personally been an Aweber customer for 9 years and I refer clients often. That’s why it makes the top three on this list and that’s a long time to stay committed to one company when all the tools and resources are forever changing for the web based business. The drag and drop builder is easy to use and they offer outstanding phone support.
Aweber is right for you, if your business is simple in nature, and you don’t need all the bells and whistles of Constant Contact.
There are 700 different email templates and all are mobile responsive. If you are tech-savvy, you can create and edit templates with the help of HTML. You can automate your emails and push them to your social media accounts You just need to drag and drop action elements and you are done with setting up an automated sequence within a few minutes.
My favorite Aweber sponsored learning tool:
Ready to start with Aweber, create your account here. Or scroll down to continue learning.
If you are looking to get the best of marketing, email software is the tool you need to have at your disposal. Here are the three pricing models of the three ESP champs.
Constant Contact Pricing
Constant Contact offers a 60-day trial to its new client – FREE of cost! Once you run out the free plan, you need to purchase a plan as per the number of new contacts. Let’s say, you’ve 0-500 contacts so it will cost you nearly about $20. Compared to MailChimp, the pricing model of Constant Contact offers little flexibility of the user. This ESP is ideal for already established businesses that have a steady number of contacts.
Free Version: Yes: 60 day trial
Cost: based on subscriber base:
Email starts at $20/ mo
Email Plus starts at $45/mo
MailChimp offers plans with a ‘Pay as you go option.’ This means you’ve to pay for a precise amount of emails you send other than paying a monthly subscription fee. You will get a free plan for an unlimited time period but it comes with certain restrictions. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send out around 12,000 emails monthly.
The paid option starts at $10 every month, depending on the number of emails you need to send. If you want an enterprise Pro Marketer plan, you need to invest $199 monthly. This option is great for businesses that need to scale and don’t know much about their email marketing needs.
Free Version: Yes – up to 2,000 subscribers for free (additional features require upgrade)
Cost: Starting at $10 (up to $199 for pro marketer)
The pricing plans of Aweber are quite simple. You will get a 30-day free trial. The paid plan offers various features like automation, stock photos, templates, unlimited emails, and more. For 0-500 subscribers, you need to pay $19 every month. If you know your email marketing needs, you can choose a plan and pay fix amount.
Free Version: Yes – 30 day trial
Cost: Starting at $19 (up to $149 for 25,000 subscribers)
Constant Contact Integrations
Constant Contact Integrates with content management systems like my favorite, WordPress, as well as others. It can also integrate with social media platforms like Hootsuite, Facebook and marketing tools like Quickbooks, Shopify and Salesforce.
This ESP offers plenty of integration possibilities. Easy to integrate with social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, CMS like WordPress.
Aweber allows you to connect your social media accounts and share you broadcasts with them live when you send to your lists. For marketing purpose, it integrates well with Instapage, Sumo, ConvertFlow, Unbounce and more. And is super easy with WordPress and Divi.
My Final Thoughts
I have had personal accounts and managed clients accounts with all three of these Emails Service providers, Constant Contact, MailChimp and Aweber, for closde to 10 years now.
All three of these ESPs have amazing features and some distinctions. As with anything, it's important to do your own due diligence and determine which is the best fit for your business needs. But, I hope this post gives you a good place to start.
Just starting out: Start here:
If you are just getting started and have a low budget, MailChimp free version is a great place to start. You can get it up and running for free, you'll have their branding and some limitations and no premium support.
But, it is solid and a good way to go. The aspects like top-notch reporting, easy to set up and user experience will all be added plus to your business growth.
Ready to Up Level: Start here:
When you are ready to up level consider Aweber. It will give you everything you need to build your list and engage with your subscribers, easily and with OUTSTANDING customer phone support. I highly recommend this as a MUST feature to my ‘getting started' clients
Need all the bells and whistles: Start here:
Constant Contact also offers great phone support. Once you have all the pieces running for your business and you need additional bells and whistles, look at Constant Contact. There are No contracts which means you can cancel at anytime.
Remember all these three ESPs offers free trials and paid plans.
Sign up for the free trial, take them for a ride and make an informed decision for your email service provider.
I am a customer and user of these three email service providers, I work them all with and for my clients often. I am also an affiliate of various programs I recommend. Please see my affiliate disclaimer below for more information.