Constant Contact vs. VerticalResponse
Email marketing continues to be the revenue channel with the highest ROI for most digital businesses, and providing great content with the right timing and context is the key to success.
Two of the best email marketing platforms on the market are Constant Contact and VerticalResponse. We’ve set up an old-fashioned shootout between these services to help you choose the best email platform for your business.
Scaled pricing based on the number of contacts and emails sent is the standard in email marketing, but both Constant Contact and VerticalResponse approach this model differently.
Let’s take a look at each:
VerticalResponse offers a free service that includes up to 300 contacts. Once a user grows their list, the price remains low and can be reduced an additional 15% for a non-profit. The cost of the Basic Package is just $22 per month for unlimited emails to 1,000 contacts.
Users with design skills — or access to a designer — can customize emails they send with the Basic Package. For those who aren’t design experts and still want professional-looking emails, the Pro and Pro Plus options from VerticalResponse should be considered. These advanced packages offer personalized templates at the Pro level and a dedicated campaign manager to run campaigns at the Pro Plus level.
Constant Contact provides users with a wider range of list size options with variable pricing. Regardless of the list size chosen, it offers unlimited emails. It doesn’t have a free option, but does offer a 60-day free trial, providing plenty of time to test ROI for the service. Constant Contact also offers discounts to nonprofits and companies that buy at a semi-annual or annual rate.
While both platforms are priced fairly and scaled appropriately, at almost half the price, VerticalResponse is definitely more cost-friendly.
A quick look at features doesn’t provide much to differentiate these two platforms.
Both systems include:
Mobile-friendly drag and drop editors
With their experience in email marketing, it’s not surprising that both companies are proficient at all these services. When you dig a bit deeper, however, you see that Constant Contact offers more options. You can choose from numerous templates (see image below), and they are generally better designed than those provided by VerticalResponse. Email marketers can also set up live events, donations, and trackable coupons directly within Constant Contact.
While VerticalResponse's automation systems seemingly focus on promoting happy birthday messages, welcome emails, anniversary messages and other short sequences, Constant Contact puts more focus on complex automations that are specific to a given business. In-depth walkthroughs and marketing suggestions on the site help users take charge of email marketing processes via best practices.
For those looking for depth and versatility in email marketing, Constant Contact’s feature suite takes the cake.
Winner: Constant Contact
Another key to email marketing is testing different strategies to see if they affect open and click rates. A strong reporting tool is critical to successful A/B testing, so let’s take a look at both options.
With high-level funnel overviews, data by device and geographical capabilities, VerticalResponse’s analytics tool is impressive. It feels a lot like Google Analytics, making it a familiar environment for most users.
Constant Contact’s reporting tool offers demographic information as well as data about open and clicks by device and deliverability rates. It also offers high-level suggestions, but it doesn’t dig as deeply into data as Vertical Response does.
Both platforms provide you with the most important email marketing metrics, but for those looking for a bit more data to back up campaign decisions, VerticalResponse is the right choice.
How intuitive are these platforms? Both are easy to get started on, but let’s look at the platform homepage for each.
The campaign management homepage for Vertical Response feels a bit jumbled and doesn’t offer specific analytics from previous campaigns. It’s easy to see where previous messages are, but when users add a lot of campaigns to this dashboard, it can become overwhelming to sort through.
Right off the bat, Constant Contact feels cleaner. It offers baseline analytics, provides a clear view of how campaigns are organized and the various information and features are easy to locate.
In short, both platforms are easy to use, but VerticalResponse feels slightly antiquated. For clean, sleek design that is extremely user-friendly, go with Constant Contact.
Winner: Constant Contact
While both platforms offer a suite of similar features, for those planning on investing in a long-term email marketing strategy, we recommend ConstantContact. The extra event features, robust automation capabilities, additional template options and user-friendly interface make it our choice in this email marketing platform battle.
And remember that email marketing is only one part of the equation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by looking at this list of essential marketing tools!