When it comes to choosing an email marketing platform, MailerLite and Constant Contact are two popular options used by small businesses and startups.
Selecting the right software is crucial for effectively connecting with customers, driving sales, and growing your business. In this comprehensive MailerLite vs Constant Contact comparison guide, we evaluate how MailerLite and Constant Contact stack up across key criteria like features, ease of use, cost, and reviews.
Our goal is to provide straightforward, practical advice to help you determine which solution best fits your business needs and budget.
1. Understanding the Basics
MailerLite was founded in 2012 by Ignas Rubezius. The company is a relative newcomer in the email marketing space. Despite its young age, MailerLite has quickly grown in popularity, especially among small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. It currently has over 1 million users globally.
MailerLite has an active Facebook community.
Constant Contact was launched in 1995 by Randy Parker and is one of the older and more established ESPs. As one of the email marketing pioneers, it helped shape the industry early on.
Over the years, Constant Contact has expanded beyond just email into a full-service digital marketing platform. It offers email, landing pages, digital storefronts, event marketing, Facebook marketing, and more.
With decades in the business, Constant Contact has an extensive client base of over 600,000 customers globally. Its market position remains robust despite growing competition. The Constant Contact Facebook group has thousands of active members.
2. Features and Functionality
MailerLite has robust automation features to help streamline your email marketing. You can create sequences to automate welcome emails, lead nurturing campaigns, anniversary messages, and more. Sequences support if/then branching logic to send different messages based on subscriber actions.
For example, you can automatically enroll customers into separate sequences when they make a purchase or abandon their cart. You can trigger sequences when subscribers click links in other emails too. This allows sending highly targeted, personalized follow-ups.
MailerLite has a visual sequence builder that makes setting up automated workflows simple without coding. You can launch an email series based on time delays or specific dates. Further, MailerLite has a landing page and pop-up integrations with automation options.
Constant Contact also provides extensive email automation capabilities. You can set up segmented email lists and complex sequences that send a series of automated emails. These can be scheduled based on subscriber events or date-based triggers.
For instance, you can enroll buyers into post-purchase sequences, recovering shoppers who abandoned purchase flows. By integrating with e-commerce platforms, data flows automatically to trigger these workflows.
While powerful, some users find Constant Contact’s automation builder less intuitive than other ESPs. It may involve more upfront work to set up sequences to your needs. However, most required campaigns can be configured without advanced coding skills.
MailerLite wins for its simplicity and visually intuitive automation builder. It allows both basic and advanced sequenced email campaigns without technical complexity getting in the way. The flexibility makes it our pick for the best platform for leveraging email marketing automation.
MailerLite provides hundreds of professionally designed email templates to choose from. You can pick from beautiful, mobile-responsive templates for welcome series, product announcements, newsletters, and more.
Templates are categorized by goal and industry for easy discovery. Popular options include templates for birthdays, holidays, app launches, events, and e-commerce.
While templates cannot be edited directly, they are auto-populated with your brand colors and logo. You can customize fonts, add/delete sections, and tweak styling through the drag-and-drop editor.
Overall, MailerLite’s templates effectively balance visual design with core email marketing best practices for engagement and conversions.
Constant Contact also offers hundreds of mobile-optimized templates for most email campaign types. Templates feature sharp design and utilization of white space.
You can browse by category, holiday, or layout to find templates for welcome series, promotions, newsletters, and more. Filters help narrow options.
While you cannot edit Constant Contact’s templates, you can customize fonts, colors, and content. The drag-and-drop editor lets you add, remove, or rearrange sections as needed.
Constant Contact’s templates satisfy essential email marketing needs but some seem more visually dated than other ESPs.
The MailerLite Constant Contact comparison shows a clear winner – MailerLite for having the best email templates. Their modern, aesthetically pleasing template design edges out Constant Contact’s options, which seem more outdated by comparison. MailerLite templates also appear better optimized for driving engagement and conversions on mobile devices.
MailerLite makes it easy to divide your subscribers into different segments and groups. You can create segments based on subscriber data, behavior, geography, lifecycle stage, or other custom parameters.
For instance, you may group customers by products purchased, order frequency, activity levels, or signup date. You can also segment based on whether they opened emails, clicked links, or if emails bounced.
MailerLite lets you build segments with AND/OR logic using an intuitive UI. Further segmentation can be done as you build emails, seeing stats for each option.
Overall, MailerLite offers robust, flexible subscriber segmentation to send targeted messages driving more conversions.
Constant Contact also provides good segmentation capabilities for subscribers. You can group contacts based on location, interests, behaviors, and other attributes.
Common options are segmenting by customers, subscribers, members, etc. You can also filter by activity like email opens, link clicks, event attendance, and actions. Location lets you segment by city, state, country, or ZIP code.
While segmentation is easy to set up, some users feel Constant Contact segments are not as visually managed as competitor ESPs. But core segmentation use cases can be achieved with this powerful email marketing service.
We chose MailerLite as having the best segmentation. The user-friendly interface, flexible logic options, and tight integration with email analytics give it the edge. This allows for finely targeted email campaigns that speak to customers’ needs and priorities.
MailerLite provides detailed email analytics to optimize your campaigns. You can view opens, clicks, unsubscribes, spam reports, links clicked, location data, and more for each campaign.
Drill-down filters allow analyzing metrics by segment and groups. You can compare email performance across different demographic or behavioral subscriber buckets. Further, A/B testing tools let you directly compare metrics from email variations.
Comprehensive graphs and visual data make it easy to spot trends. The analytics integrate tightly with MailerLite’s other modules like automation and landing pages too.
Constant Contact also provides robust email analytics and reporting. You can track opens, clicks, forwards, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and more.
The dashboard displays high-level campaign metrics. You can further filter analytics by location, links clicked, device type, and subscriber segments. Constant Contact makes it easy to analyze the engagement levels and responses of different contact groups.
While powerful, some users may find Constant Contact’s analytics less visually intuitive for analysis compared to other ESPs. But all key metrics are available for insight.
The Constant Contact MailerLite review of this category shows that it’s a tie between the two platforms. Each marketing tool provides excellent analytics on par with email marketing best practices. The minor differences come down to visual presentation and workflow. But at the core, all key metrics and filters are present to optimize email campaigns.
One of MailerLite’s standout features is its pop-up and landing page builder. It allows you to quickly create embedded pop-ups, notification bars, slide-ins, and landing pages without coding that connects with your emails.
These lead gen assets help capture more contacts and build your list. You can set triggers so pop-ups launch based on time on site, scroll percentage, exit intent, and more.
The UI for building these on-site elements is user-friendly and intuitive. With preset templates and drag-and-drop editing, you can build high-converting pop-ups and landing pages in minutes from scratch.
A highlight feature exclusive to Constant Contact is its e-commerce-focused tools. This includes options like digital storefront builder, free trial stores, and simplified product catalog management.
If you sell products online, even without a separate e-commerce platform, you can sell via customizable Constant Contact storefront pages. This allows easy self-setup even for small merchants.
While niche, these e-commerce tools streamline digital retail efforts for Constant Contact’s customers in ways many other ESPs don’t match.
Both digital marketing tools have a lot to offer, but we chose MailerLite as having the best unique features, thanks to the landing page and pop-up creator included with all paid plans.
This built-in functionality for building email opt-in forms, embedded slide-ins, notification bars, and landing pages delivers tremendous value. The intuitive drag-and-drop builder requires no coding expertise to create highly converting assets.
3. Ease of Use
MailerLite is widely regarded as one of the most user-friendly email marketing platforms. The interface has a clean, uncluttered design that is intuitive to navigate. Key features are easily accessible from the main dashboard.
For beginners, MailerLite’s simplicity gets you up and running quickly. Creating signup forms, basic automation, and sending your first broadcast campaign can be achieved in minutes. At the same time, power users have all the tools for advanced functionality.
Drag-and-drop editors make building emails, sequences, forms, and landing pages simple. Inline tutorials, webinars, and an extensive knowledge base also help shorten the learning curve.
Overall, MailerLite strikes an excellent balance between simplicity and deep functionality for a superior user experience.
Constant Contact offers a pretty user-friendly interface as well, though some areas feel more complex. The dashboard puts core tools front and center including email, contacts, reports, and campaign creation.
For beginners, you can figure out basic emailing fairly fast. However, unlocking more advanced workflows around automation, segments, and integrations involves a steeper climb. There are just more controls and steps compared to other ESPs.
Improvements to simplify parts of Constant Contact’s interface over time have helped ease usability. But occasionally, too many menus and options slow down users and campaigns.
MailerLite wins best user experience thanks to its highly intuitive yet fully-featured interface. The platform is simply easier and faster to use at every level while still providing advanced power when needed. These factors led to our selecting MailerLite as superior in the ease of use category.
4. Email Deliverability
MailerLite uses a variety of best practices to optimize email deliverability. This includes running rigorous tests on content, links, images, and code to ensure messages reach the inbox.
The platform checks for issues like broken links, remote images, and spam trigger words that can cause emails to be flagged or blocked. Further, dedicated IP addresses establish your sending reputation over time.
MailerLite also lets you preview your sender profile as subscribers would see it. This helps craft whitelist-friendly “From” names and email addresses that recipients easily recognize.
Overall, MailerLite makes it easy to establish trust and deliverability through comprehensive optimization guidance.
Constant Contact also incorporates strong email deliverability features. These include link and code validation checks that provide warnings if you try adding risky content.
Dedicated IPs allow for establishing positive sending reputations, and tools like blacklisting monitors protect sender scores. Further, Constant Contact lets you preview messages across different email clients and devices to confirm consistent rendering.
While quite good, a few users report deliverability rates slightly below average industry standards. But for most, required inbox placement capabilities are present.
We chose MailerLite as the winner for best email deliverability. Their comprehensive content and code checks provide superior guidance to identify and fix risky issues pre-send. Further, MailerLite’s dedicated IPs demonstrate slightly higher deliverability and inbox placement rates in practice.
5. Customer Support and Community
MailerLite offers excellent customer service through several premium support channels. This includes direct access to dedicated account managers, a priority ticketing system, and a telephone hotline for faster issue resolution.
Their team is responsive to inquiries via live chat, email, or phone. Answers are typically prompt and highly detailed from staff knowledge agents but response times can vary.
An expansive library of tutorials, guides, videos, and how-tos helps many users self-serve what they need as well. Further community support is available through MailerLite’s active Facebook community group.
Constant Contact also provides good customer service across standard touchpoints. This includes email and phone support as well as live chat assistance during extended hours.
Answers tend to be knowledgeable and complete from agents. However, a few users complain of cookie-cutter replies that reflect a lack of deep platform expertise or slow response times from the support staff.
Self-help options include an extensive knowledge base, webinars, launched tutorials, how-to articles, and Facebook community groups.
We chose MailerLite as the winner for best customer service and community support. Their multi-channel premium offerings like dedicated account reps and a priority ticketing system edge out Constant Contact’s options that rely solely on more traditional assistance channels that can be sporadically responsive. Further, MailerLite’s support team demonstrates greater platform expertise and responsiveness overall.
MailerLite integrates with over 1,000+ third-party apps and services to expand functionality. This includes top e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento for syncing customer data.
CRM integrations with platforms like HubSpot, Zoho, and Salesforce centralize contact management. Further, MailerLite seamlessly connects with webinar apps like GoToWebinar, landing page builders like Unbounce, and marketing automation tools.
Native bi-directional syncing enables sending behavioral subscriber data back to many integrated tools for centralized reporting. Easy-to-use connect keyboard makes finding and activating integrations quick.
Constant Contact also offers strong integrations with both email marketing and other platforms. This includes native connectivity with popular e-commerce stores such as Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix.
CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho are supported for streamlining data. Constant Contact also integrates natively with ChamberMaster to sync local business listings and data.
The partner integrations available are targeted and cover many marketing automation needs. However, some competitors do offer greater breadth and two-way data synchronization capabilities.
We chose MailerLite as the winner thanks to their unparalleled integration options with 1,000+ apps via Zapier and native bridges. MailerLite covers a wider array of platforms ranging from webinar software to analytics tools to landing page builders. Further, their robust two-way contact and performance data syncing better unifies an expanded martech stack.
MailerLite has three pricing plans for users of different levels. The pricing structure is as follows:
- Free Account – MailerLite’s free plan allows 1 user and up to 12,000 emails sent per month.
- Growing Business – $9/mo for 3 users, unlimited subscribers, and advanced automation tools.
- Advanced – $18/mo for unlimited users and monthly emails.
The features are relatively consistent across paid plans. Core capabilities like email design, automation, and basic analytics are included.
For the features provided, MailerLite offers more competitive pricing than Mailchimp at lower email volumes. But React’s capabilities become limited for larger lists, while Mailchimp’s grow more robust, making it ideal for scaling your email marketing campaigns.
Constant Contact pricing begins with a $12/month starter plan for up to 500 subscribers. Scalable upgrades supporting more contacts and premium features like e-commerce storefronts are available.
Some users may find costs get expensive quickly depending on list size and desired functionality. However, occasional promotional offers can make entry pricing competitive for the email and marketing feature set provided.
We chose MailerLite as the winner for pricing and overall value. Dollar for dollar, their free plan option, and low starting monthly cost offer superior email marketing capabilities for less. Support for serious features even at low tiers makes MailerLite the more affordable solution scaling up as businesses grow their lists and needs.
8. Reviews and Reputation
MailerLite earns strong reviews from industry experts and users alike. They are praised for ease of use, affordability, and excellent features for the price.
Positive feedback cites the intuitive drag-and-drop editor, quality templates, and good analytics available even at low pricing tiers. Users also appreciate robust integrations, strong deliverability, and quality support.
Constructive criticism includes occasional slow deliverability times for non-US regions. Some also hoped for more advanced split testing options. But most reviews rate MailerLite very positively overall.
As an early email marketing pioneer, Constant Contact maintains a decent reputation but garners mixed feedback among users. Supporters highlight integration availability with CRMs, e-commerce tools, and social platforms. Constant Contact’s email editor also receives positive marks.
Less favorable reviews reflect changing industry dynamics towards lower-cost competitors. Some find prices get expensive for advanced features often included in affordable packages elsewhere. Support responsiveness also draws occasional complaints.
But for an established brand, most still consider Constant Contact a reasonably sound email marketing pick.
We chose MailerLite as the winner based on superior reviews and reputation, especially among the small business target demographic. Low pricing with robust functionality draws consistent praise across evaluation criteria. Meanwhile, Constant Contact satisfies email basics but shows its age with middling reviews around pricing, features, and support.
- Does MailerLite have free plans?
Yes, MailerLite offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. It includes basic features like email marketing, automation, and popups/landing pages.
- Is MailerLite GDPR compliant?
Yes, MailerLite enables easy GDPR compliance by offering double opt-in signup, reusable consent fields, and built-in preference management tools subscribers can directly control.
- Does MailerLite integrate with CRMs?
Yes, MailerLite offers native integrations with CRMs like MailChimp, HubSpot, Zoho, and Salesforce for seamless data syncing between your contacts database, email campaigns, landing pages, and more.
- Can I switch to MailerLite from another provider?
Yes, MailerLite makes it easy to switch from any other email service provider without subscriber data loss or downtime through their automated migration wizards.
- Does MailerLite allow sending email blasts?
Yes. In addition to regular broadcast emails and automated campaigns, MailerLite enables one-off blast email capabilities when needed.
Constant Contact FAQs
- Does Constant Contact offer free plans?
No. Constant Contact requires a paid subscription starting at $20/month for basic email marketing and tools, even for small lists.
- Is Constant Contact beginner-friendly?
Yes. Constant Contact offers an easy-to-use interface that allows beginners to create professional emails, run campaigns, track analytics, and more without too steep a learning curve.
- Can Constant Contact build landing pages?
Yes. You can build unlimited popups, forms, and landing pages beyond just email marketing through Constant Contact’s suite of tools – no coding required.
- How long does it take to get set up?
Constant Contact advertises that users can create an account, connect domains, verify contacts, and send their first email campaign all within an hour after signup.
- Is there a contractual commitment?
No, Constant Contact does not require contracts. You can pay monthly with the flexibility to cancel or pause your account at any time.
MailerLite is the best choice for solopreneurs, small business owners, startups, and bootstrapped operations who want a highly affordable yet powerful email marketing solution.
With free and low-cost plans packed with lead gen and sales-driving features, MailerLite delivers tremendous value. The intuitive interface also makes it beginner-friendly to adopt without a big learning curve.
Choose Constant Contact if…
Constant Contact suits small enterprises needing an integrated digital marketing platform beyond basic email. Their suite combines good email marketing with e-commerce storefront builders, event promotion tools, and social media management.
The expanded capabilities make Constant Contact a potential one-stop shop for multi-channel marketing needs. More niche requirements around selling products directly or event integration may find better support through their ecosystem.
You may also be interested in checking out some Constant Contact alternatives as well.