In this iContact vs Constant Contact vs GetResponse comparison guide, I take a look at the 3 email marketing providers and help you decide which one is best for you.
After bouncing around from one email marketing service to another, I will be the first one to admit that choosing an email marketing provider is difficult. While using an email marketing service has its benefits, you need to ask yourself if you really need an email marketing service.
It all depends on whether or not you can get subscribers and if you have something to send them on a regular basis.
If you are still here, I am going to assume that you narrowed it down to iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse. The 3 email marketing services are what I like to call “The Big 3,” and are commonly used for email marketing by first-time and experienced marketers.
7 consideration factors
I made a list of 7 consideration factors that will help you compare iContact vs Constant Contact and GetResponse, and hopefully help you decide which email marketing service is best for you. At the end of each section, I will do a brief summary and give you the winner of that specific section.
1. Popularity and active customers
This is the first thing that jumps right out when looking at iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse. These providers have captured a lot of market share in the email marketing realm for a reason because they are doing something right. The number of customers that use a particular service says a lot about the company and the service being provided. Most importantly, this tells us that thousands of customers use the service because it works.
iContact is the most used premium email marketing service. It was founded in 2003 and is now used by 700,000 individuals and businesses such as NASA, Browning, and Libertarian. That averages out to around 50,000 new customers signing up for iContact every year.
Constant Contact is right behind iContact and might even pass them soon. Founded way back in 1995, a little over 650,000 customers trust Constant Contact for their email marketing needs. While the company has been in business the longest, email marketing was not as popular in the 90s as it is today.
And then there is GetResponse. Founded in 1999, over 350,000 customers use GetResponse for email marketing. Avon, Men’s Health, and Hilton Hotel and Resorts are some noteworthy companies using GetResponse.
Conclusion: While iContact has the largest customer base, it does not necessarily mean it is the best email marketing service for your site or business. In other words, the number of active customers can tell us that it works, but it is not enough to determine if it is the best solution for you because every email marketing strategy is different.
As an individual or a small business owner, you probably have a limited budget for an email marketing service. That is why it is best to look for a service that works for your budget. Luckily for you, iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse offer affordable monthly plans that will not break the bank.
Here is a detailed overview of the cost of each email marketing solution:
- iContact offers a 30-day free trial period that you can sign up for and try the service.
- After your free trial runs out, email marketing plans start $14 a month for up to 500 contacts, and it increase to as much as $117 a month for up to 15,000 contacts.
- iContact offers “Pro Automation,” which includes extra features and functions such as triggered messages, landing pages, A/B testing, and social monitoring. Pro Automation plans start at $99 a month for up to 500 contacts, and scale to $249 a month for up to 15,000 contacts.
- You get a 15% discount on all iContact plans if you prepay for a year in advance.
- Nonprofit organizations receive a free account and 20% discount on all paid plans.
- Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial period where you can try the service for free.
- After your free trial period ends, their email marketing plans start at $20 a month for up to 500 contacts, and it increase to as much as $90 a month for up to 10,000 contacts.
- Constant Contact offers “Email Plus,” which includes additional features such as coupons, surveys, donations, and auto-responders. Their Email Plus plans start at $45 a month for up to 500 contacts, and scale up to $115 a month for up to 10,000 contacts.
- You get a 10% discount if you prepay for six months in advance, and a 15% discount for annual prepayments.
- Nonprofits organizations receive a 30% discount on all plans with either prepayment.
- GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial period that you can try to see if the service suits your needs.
- After your free trial ends, their email marketing plans start at $15 a month for up to 1,000 contacts, and increase to as much as $450 a month for up to 100,000 contacts.
- GetResponse offers “Pro Email Marketing,” which includes advanced auto-responders, advanced landing pages, and webinars for up to 100 attendees. Pro Email Marketing plans start at $49 a month for up to 1,000 contacts, and scale to $490 a month for up to 100,000 contacts.
- In addition, they offer “Max Email Marketing,” which includes advanced features such as custom domain, Salesforce integration, and webinars for up to 500 attendees. Max Email Marketing plans start at $165 a month for up to 10,000 contacts, and increase to as much as $580 a month for up to 100,000 contacts.
- You get a 18% discount for prepaying in advance for a year, and 30% discount for prepaying for 2 years.
- All nonprofit organizations receive a 50% discount on all plans.
Conclusion: What good is an email marketing service if you do not have the budget for it, right? As mentioned above, it is best to choose a service that you can afford. With all of that in mind, GetResponse is the most affordable, but it all depends on the plan you choose. If you factor in the big discounts for annual prepayments and nonprofit organizations, GetResponse offers competitive pricing and is the best candidate for limited budgets.
3. Email templates
Whether you are selling the best products or writing the most popular content, a professionally designed email template is going to help you attract customers and visitors. Luckily, each service provides several design options and an extensive selection of templates that you can use for your email newsletters.
iContact offers a drag-and-drop editor and custom message builder that you can use to design your email newsletters. In addition, iContact offers 600 free and responsive email templates that you can use or modify to your liking.
Constant Contact offers a large number of free and responsive templates in categories such as newsletter templates, holiday templates, sales templates, and announcement templates. In addition, Constant Contact offers a drag-and-drop editor that you can use to design email templates by adding images, logos, and text.
Lastly, GetResponse offers over 500 free and responsive email templates that are optimized for mobile devices. You can use their email creator to build email messages from scratch. A real-time mobile email preview is available that gives you the option to see your email before you send it.
Conclusion: For me, the templates and design option sell the service to me. If you do not have access to professional templates and a user-friendly editor, how will you succeed? All offer a user-friendly editor that you can use to design your templates at no extra cost. In this section, while each solution provides a large number of free email templates that you can use, I feel that iContact has a slight advantage due to user-friendliness.
4. Deliverability rates
Email delivery rate is the percent of sent messages that reach your subscribers’ inbox. This percentage value is relative to the number of messages that you send. In theory, if you send 100 messages and 2 emails do not make it to the inbox; the email deliverability rate is 98%. Bounced emails do not count towards the deliverability rate, but it all depends on the provider that you are using.
iContact’s deliverability rates range anywhere from 96% to 98%. They do not count bounced emails towards the above percentage rate. You also have access to their deliverability experts that can help you maximize and improve those rates.
Constant Contact offers a 98% deliverability rate. The platform features a built-in spam checking tool that helps improve your delivery rates. In addition, Constant Contact is compliant with all spam laws. Bounced emails are not counted towards the above percentage.
GetResponse offers the highest deliverability rate. As of right now, their email delivery rate is at 99%. All GetResponse IP addresses that they use to send your emails are in good standing with a lot of the popular email service providers. Bounced emails do not count towards their deliverability rate.
Conclusion: In the world of online marketing, every email counts. If you are sending thousands of emails a month, a percent difference in email deliverability is a lot. If you look at the numbers, GetResponse advertises the best deliverability rates, but it all comes down to the type of messages and content that you are sending. If you plan on sending spam, you will not get very far on either platform.
5. Third-party integrations
All email marketing providers rely heavily on integrations with other services such as CRM software, blogging platforms, and social media channels. iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse are popular email marketing solutions, so you can expect them to integrate well with other services.
iContact offers a marketplace of apps for analytics, CMS, CRM, ecommerce, and forms and surveys. Notable integrations include Salesforce, 123 Contact Form, Drupal, BigCommerce, Magento, and Live Chat.
Constant Contact offers a complete suite of apps of its own functionality. In addition, they offer a large marketplace of 276 different apps for accounting, analytics, scheduling, CMS, point of sale, ecommerce, social media, and signup forms. Notable integrations include QuickBooks, Outlook, Salesforce, Leadpages, Hootsuite, BigCommerce, Shopify, WordPress, and Wix.
GetResponse offers over 109 marketplace apps for CRM, CMS, social, and ecommerce. Notable integrations include PayPal, Joomla, Salesforce, GitHub, Facebook, YouTube, Google Analytics, Drupal, Woo Commerce, Amazon Payments, BigCommerce, and Shopify.
Conclusion: Integrations are good to have because they extend the functionality of the email marketing service. In terms of integrations, I feel that Constant Contact does the best job at integrating well with other services.
While you do not have to be a rocket scientist or even a tech savvy individual to use any of the email marketing services here, I feel that support is one area that is always overlooked and not taken into consideration when making your final decision. Even with all of the added features, you will not have any problems using iContact, Constant Contact, or GetResponse after the free trial period ends. You will be able to familiarize yourself with how things work in a matter of hours.
- Support is reachable via phone, email, and live chat, Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST. The customer support department is based out of the US.
- The company offers helpful resources on their website to help you with email marketing. For instance, you get detailed guides on using iContact efficiently, recorded video tutorials, and sign up for webinars for expert advice.
- You also get access to a user community where you can get in touch with other iContact customers for support, ideas, and feedback.
Constant Contact support
- Phone, live chat, and email support is offered for US and Canada, Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST, and 7:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. UK support is offered Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. GMT. Lastly, support for all others is offered Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST, and 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday.
- Helpful resources on their site include a user community to get help from other Constant Contact customers, recorded video tutorials, and local class seminars to connect with email marketing experts in your area.
- Additional training and support services can be purchased.
- Live chat and email support (available in 7 languages) is offered 24/7. Phone support is offered Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.
- Helpful resources on their site include video tutorials, webinars, and assistance with integrations. You also get free access to GetResponse TV which is a section on the site that provides you with email marketing 101 tutorials and videos.
Conclusion: As mentioned above, you do not need any email marketing experience to use any of the services in this article. For the ones that are fairly new to online marketing, things can certainly get confusing for some. It is always good to know that someone is standing by to help you. Even though GetResponse offers a 24/7 support department, I feel that iContact offers the best support structure.
7. Pros and cons
As with anything else, there are pros (the good stuff) and there are cons (the bad stuff). In order to further help you make the best decision, I came up with pros and cons for iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse.
Pros: Drag and drop editor to create newsletter messages, insert signup forms on web and Facebook pages, post archived messages as blog posts, comprehensive tracking and reporting statistics, send triggered messages, and latest anti-spam technology.
Cons: You can only send six times your contact list, 5 MB of storage space for your images and logos, and you have to contact them for larger plans.
Free Trial: iContact offers a 30-day free trial that you can see here.
Pros: An experienced email marketing provider, strong list management tools with importing and exporting capabilities, intuitive and user-friendly interface, drag and drop editor for creating messages, and compliant with all anti-spam laws.
Cons: More expensive than other platforms, you have to call them to cancel your account, and you have to upgrade to “Email Plus” for advanced features.
Free Trial: Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial that you can see here.
Pros: Large selection of templates and images, the ability to design custom landing pages, advanced auto-responder features, the option to see a live preview of your email, advanced email analytics, and a 99% deliverability rates.
Cons: User interface is quirky, multi-user functionality is not available with standard plans, and strict anti-spam policies.
Free Trial: GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial that you can see here.
Conclusion: Each email marketing solution has its own set of pros and cons. There is no way of choosing the better provider without knowing what you need.
iContact vs Constant Contact vs GetResponse – Conclusion
No marketing strategy is the same. Thus, there is not an email marketing provider that is a good fit for everyone. iContact, Constant Contact, and GetResponse can help create success for individuals and businesses.
In this comparison review, iContact won in 3 categories, GetResponse won in 2 categories, Constant Contact won 1 category, and the remaining category were a tie.
I feel that iContact is the better email marketing solution, but it will come down to your preference and your marketing needs. In order to make the most accurate decision, sign up for the free trial with each email marketing service and test it on your own. Then choose the one that you like the best.
Go with the email marketing service I use and recommend: iContact.