HubSpot vs. Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact: Which is the Best Email Marketing Software?
Email marketing is a valuable tool for any brand and that’s more important than ever. With customers primarily on their phones and less likely to access a brick-and-mortar location, the inbox has become prime retail real estate.
From lead generation and brand awareness to customer retention, using the right email marketing software is an important decision.
Introducing the Big Three Email Marketing Tools
To help our clients (and that could be you) choose the right platform and get the most out of it, we’ve put together a lengthy comparison of Mailchimp, Constant Contact and HubSpot. (Full disclosure: We use HubSpot at Oneupweb.)
What Is Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is the largest email marketing platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Based in Atlanta, Mailchimp was acquired by fintech giant Inuit in November 2021. Mailchimp has 13 million users and sees 2.4 million active users monthly. Roughly 800,000 users pay to use the platform via a monthly or annual subscription.
What Is Constant Contact?
Constant Contact was one of the early email marketing options designed to meet the needs of primarily small businesses and nonprofits. Established in 1995, the company currently has 600,000 paid users, making it second only to Mailchimp in size.
What Is HubSpot?
While Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer at least some of the same features, HubSpot is designed to serve primarily as a CRM, or customer relationship management system. HubSpot offers the ability to create email campaigns, landing pages and other digital assets, but its primary purpose is to provide automated emails through drip campaigns.
The Ultimate Email Marketing Software Comparison
We narrowed down our comparison to four main categories. You’ll find a brief overview of what each platform does well and what it could improve on for each category, but you’ll almost certainly want to get in touch with us for more info.
We compared and evaluated the three competing platforms on this criteria:
Integration –Integration with website CMSs, social media platforms, ecommerce, accounting, and other platforms your business uses.
Design – Not a graphic designer? That’s okay. All three of these tools offer design assistance and customizable pre-made templates to give your content a professional look without years of design school. But how does each compare?
Automation –Having the flexibility to create unique automated email flows can help you communicate with prospects, clients and customers with less effort.
Pricing – We all want the Ferrari of email marketing software, but not all of us can afford the payments, so we look at the pricing of each of the three tools
We’ll assign 3, 2, or 1 point for each category. The software with the most points wins.
Related Content: Email Marketing Frequently Asked Questions
This category is perhaps the most difficult to call. All three platforms offer tons of integrations with commonly used tools. Interestingly, HubSpot even offers Mailchimp and Constant Contact integration for users who prefer to design emails with that platform!
We might have counted out Mailchimp at Oneupweb in 2021 because it lacked integration with one of the most popular ecommerce website buildering tools on the planet: Shopify, which we use a lot here at the agency. Luckily for Mailchimp users, Shopify integration is back.
While HubSpot and Mailchimp both offer more than 500 integrations to Constant Contact’s 353, you’re very unlikely to be missing out with any of the platforms on this one.
We’re going to give this one to HubSpot! It’s the only one that offers integrations for the other two platforms.
Points: HubSpot 3, Mailchimp 2, Constant Contact 1
Email design plays a big role in establishing trust and driving clicks to your site. No graphic designer on staff? Until you tag us in, there are hundreds of pre-made templates to choose from on all three of these email platforms.
This category isn’t about volume, however. Having a handful of visually appealing, easy-to-customize templates is better than having hundreds of stale options. Based on an internal survey, our team named Mailchimp as having the easiest-to-use and best-looking email templates.
If you can write HTML code, all three platforms offer the ability to design from scratch. Mailchimp wins this battle, too, allowing a simple .zip upload or URL to add your custom code.
HubSpot is slightly out of its element here but does offer templated email options. However, the bulk of these are not design-heavy and are better used in drip campaigns for B2B lead generation.
So, who looks the best? We’re calling this one for Mailchimp.
Points: Mailchimp 5, HubSpot 4, Constant Contact 3
If the total number of people in your marketing department is, well, one, then you need help. Email automation can multiply your impact and do a lot of the busy work for you. All three of these services offer the basic email automation you’d expect, including:
- New subscriber
- Abandoned cart
- Order confirmation
- Product/service review
Since all three options include integration with ecommerce giants like Shopify, Big Commerce and WooCommerce, it’s the customer-nurture element that makes the difference. No platform offers as many options or as much support for drip campaigns as HubSpot, which is why many B2B marketers choose it over Mailchimp and Constant Contact.
For ecommerce, Mailchimp gets the edge. Mailchimp has doubled down on automation in the past few years, expanding its features to include transaction, behavior, date-based, and personalized customer journeys to their arsenal. With close integration with any ecommerce website, plus the ability to create a Mailchimp website to start with, Mailchimp bests Constant Contact here.
We’re going to “cheat” and give HubSpot 3 points for B2B and Mailchimp 3 points for ecommerce.
Points: Mailchimp 8, HubSpot 7, Constant Contact 5
Now we get to the bottom line. Offering all the features in the world is a moot point if small-to-mid-sized businesses can afford it.
In addition to different prices for a monthly subscription, platforms also change pricing based on your email list’s size, the number of emails sent, and how many users have access to your account.
We can toss Constant Contact out for those looking to get started immediately. After a 60-day trial period, Constant contact requires a $10 per month subscription. You’ll need to bump up to $45 per month for automated emails and more robust insights.
Both Mailchimp and HubSpot offer a free-forever account capped based on the number of subscribers stored in your database.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub starts at $50 a month if you need to utilize more features and integrations. That pairs nicely with its always-free HubSpot CRM. However, the price jumps to a whopping $890 per month when you go from the Starter to Professional package. While this includes several features, they may not be features your business needs.
Mailchimp’s pricing is the most complex, but that also makes it more flexible. Ranging from $11 per month for the Essential plan (based on 500 contacts) to the $1,300 per month Premium plan (with 200,000 or more contacts), there’s a price point that balances your current needs with the ability to grow.
Take a second to see the pricing for each service, and don’t be afraid to contact the platforms directly to see if they’ll create a custom plan for what you need.
Dollars are relative; the more you have, the less the price of a monthly email subscription matters. We’re giving this one to Mailchimp for its many specific options.
Points: Mailchimp 11, HubSpot 9, Constant Contact 6
We Have a Winner … yet there are no losers
Mailchimp might be the best all-around platform, but that may not mean it’s the best for you and your business. We’re optimists, so we put together some of the differentiating perks of each platform.
The Benefits of Using Mailchimp
Mailchimp includes the basics of email marketing plus other digital assets small businesses rely on to grow their lists and drive conversions. In addition to emails, Mailchimp offers landing pages, forms, surveys, a growing catalog of automation and excellent customer service.
- Best for ecommerce companies and small companies
- Best for those with no skill or time for graphic design
- Flexible pricing options for businesses of every size
The Benefits of Using Constant Contact
Keeping it simple? With straightforward pricing, easy-to-use templates, and an (arguably) more consistent delivery rate, you’re not giving much away with Constant Contact. For businesses looking for an email marketing solution between $12 and $100 per month, it’s worth taking a very close look at both Constant Contact. Constant Contact is the best option for one-person marketing departments.
This option delivers:
- Simple pricing
- Very easy-to-use templates
- Excellent customer service
The Benefits of Using HubSpot
HubSpot is the clear winner for B2B companies. The ability to seamlessly connect with G Suite and Outlook to deliver drip campaigns, track every contact interaction and drive leads is unmatched in this comparison. However, we do think Mailchimp is the better option for true ecommerce.
The bright spots of HubSpot are:
- Wide range of CRM tools
- Drip campaigns with excellent analytics
- Depth of free and paid marketing resources
Now, Find the Email Marketing Experts to Make It All Happen
You probably have questions about finding the right email marketing solution. Good. We’ve got answers. We’d love to learn more about your organization’s needs, goals and marketing efforts. Reach out to Oneupweb today, and let’s build something big.