Finding the best email marketing tool for your e-commerce business can be a daunting task. There are just SO MANY to choose from. But if you do some research, you’ll find not all are created equal and many of them or more fit for certain businesses than others.
In this article, we’re going to break down two of the most popular email marketing tools: MailChimp and iContact. You must decide which one is the right move from your email marketing needs.
Who is MailChimp for?
If you’re a marketing beginner on a tight budget, MailChimp is excellent for you. If you’re simply looking to send 12,000 emails or less to 2,000 subscribers or less per month, MailChimp will facilitate your campaign free of charge. You get all of MailChimp’s design, list building, and automation tools with the free service. And it’s not free for 90 days or free for half of a one-year agreement. It’s. Free. Forever.
It also equally suits small businesses, rapidly growing companies, and content producers. It has a mostly straightforward setup with easy-to-use email templates. There’s also a drag-and-drop option that isn’t all that uncommon but is very popular among MailChimp users. It’s for these reasons, along with the free offer, MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms for those just getting started.
It’s not just a useful free tool, though. MailChimp’s more advanced paid options are also easy to use and provide exceptional reports and analysis that are easily accessible.
If there’s one area it’s lacking, though, it’s with automation. That’s one thing users have stated isn’t all that easy to set up and can get confusing. If you’re looking for a platform with a great automation process above all else, MailChimp may not be for you.
What’s different about MailChimp?
The number of available app integrations on MailChimp is impressive. To be exact, the website states there are 177. Basically, if you have an app you want to integrate with MailChimp, you shouldn’t have any worries.
The pricing is very reasonable compared to the competitors. In fact, no one can match the free opportunity MailChimp offers. It equips users with more capabilities than any other free service you’ll find, and you probably won’t have much luck finding any others that are also free forever.
As we’ve stated, MailChimp offers a popular free service for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Additionally, there are two paid options: grow and pro. Neither option has a limit on the number of subscribers or emails per month. Grow starts at $10 and pro starts at $199.
Here’s the pricing breakdown for the grow option:
- 5K: $50 per month
- 10K: $75 per month
- 25K: $150 per month
- 50K: $250 per month
- 100K: $475 per month
- 250K: $1,100 per month
- 500K: $2,100 per month
- 1M: $4,200 per month
The pro option simply adds $199 to each grow price.
Who is iContact for?
Do you enjoy customer service that goes above and beyond? If yes, iContact is worth checking out. It is praised for its hands-on customer service above all else. Whatever questions or concerns you may have, the support staff is likely to have an answer that makes you feel like a valued customer. They’ll do everything from solving minor day-to-day issues to an in-depth monthly call about the plan and direction of your campaign.
It’s also lauded as an email marketing tool for its its ease of use, selection of designs and mailing features, and interface.
What’s different about iContact?
It’s the customer service that sets iContact apart. That is easily the most often aspect cited by users as to why they love iContact. There just aren’t many other competing options that are offering the same attention to detail in customer support.
They give you the option of two core plans — essential and professional — which differ greatly in price. The essential package starts at $14 per month and professional package at $99 per month. You can also pay monthly or yearly with 15 percent off for a 12-month prepay.
Here are the features the professional package gets you in addition to everything provided in the essential plan:
- Triggered messages
- Landing pages
- Engagement tracking
- Behavioral targeting
- Social monitoring
- Funnel reports
- Custom objects
- Zapier integration
- Multiple folders
Some of the customer service features, such as once a month strategy calls, are only included at a higher cost through iContact’s premier service. This includes a bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plan. You do get some level of customer support even with the most basic subscription.
Here’s a glance at the price breakdown:
- 5K-10K: $79 essential/$189 professional per month
- 10K-15K: $117/$249 per month
- 15K-25K: $149/369 per month
- 25K-35K: $239/request a quote per month
- 35K+: $299/request a quote per month.