Since I'm always asked which one is better and what are the differences, I'm going to lay it out for you in this post.
For the most part, these services are very similar. They both offer great customer service, beautiful email templates to use and have high email deliverability rates.
They do have small differences here and there, but there is one big difference that sets these services apart.
The Difference is in Signup Forms
iContact offers unlimited signup forms. If you'd like to have people sign up to different lists, this is the perfect way to do it.
Even more important than having people sign up for different lists is the ability to offer different freebies to get people onto those distinct lists.
Example: A catering company services corporate events as well as weddings. So this caterer would want to have a separate list for these two types of clients, businesses and people looking to get married.
In order to entice engaged couples to sign up for a list, the caterer might give them a freebie called "10 Ways to Have a Stress Free Wedding." Obviously, this content will not be of interest to businesses looking for a caterer for their next party. So the caterer can have a separate signup form for businesses and give them a completely different freebie.
Do you see how having multiple signup forms will give you more flexibility with your marketing? (Tweet this tip)
Constant Contact does allow you to have different lists, but you are only given one signup form. You can add additional signup forms, but it requires extra programming that you can either pay Constant Contact (I was told by customer service, but not given pricing), or your own programmer to do.
iContact vs. Constant Contact
Besides signup forms, here are some of the other differences between the two services.
- Pricing: Pricing for iContact is a bit lower than Constant Contact. For example, on a 5000 contact email list, you'll save $3 per month or about $30 per year if you opt for the annual payment.
- Social Media Management: A social media management tool is included with iContact for free. It allows you to schedule tweets to Twitter and Facebook posts as well as offers social media analytics.
- Facebook Signup Form: Included for free with iContact is a signup form that you can add as an app on your Facebook page. Design options for this signup form are a bit limited though.
- Social Media Campaigns: Constant Contact lets you create social media campaigns to get people to "Like" your Facebook page in order to take advantage of an offer (coupon, free gift, etc.) Design features are great, but you do have to pay for this service (in addition to your email marketing) and the pricing is based on how many Facebook fans you have.
- Use Your Own Template: With iContact, you can have your own email template design created by a graphic designer and import it into your account. Then when you want to send out a newsletter, you can easily edit this template with a WYSIWYG editor (similar to working in a word processing software).
You can import your own designs into Constant Contact, but you can't edit there. The other option is to pay them to create a template that you can edit with a WYSIWYG editor. The pricing starts at $399 for a template.
- Beautiful Templates to Use: Both services have colorful templates to use. You can choose templates by color, occasion, business industry, etc.
- Surveys: Both services offer the surveys that you can send out to your email list. With iContact, surveys are included with the monthly service and Constant Contact charges an extra monthly fee for surveys.
In the end, it comes down to how you plan to use email marketing. If you aren't happy with your current provider or if you are just starting out, I suggest trying either Constant Contact or iContact with a free trial. There isn't a credit card required, so all you need to do is set up an account and start using the product.
FYI: I am an affiliate for both of these email marketing providers.
Have you used either service? What's your opinion? Please share below!