Since 2001, Mailchimp has been making waves and offering small businesses one of the most dynamic marketing solutions in the world.
In 20 years, Mailchimp has grown so big that its name is now synonymous with email marketing. This makes them the first port of call for many businesses looking to streamline their operations and take their success to the next level.
If you want to leverage the power of email marketing with an automated platform that can create and monitor your campaigns, help you manage your mailing lists, and even generate customized email templates, you’ve probably considered Mailchimp.
We’re here to talk you through one of the most important factors of all: pricing. How much do you need to pay for Mailchimp? Are there free plans, and ultimately, is it worth it?
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Pricing Plans: The Basics
Head over to Mailchimp’s pricing page, and the first thing you’ll notice is these three options: Marketing Platform, Websites & Commerce, and Transactional Email. Each of these headings has its own selection of pricing plans, so you’ll have to pick the one you want.
Not sure where to start? Let’s find out more about what these headings mean and the plans included with each one.
Marketing platform plans are made with one focus in mind: growing your business. If you choose a marketing plan, you’ll opt for features designed to grow your audience, create and nurture campaigns, and send targeted messages.
Websites & Commerce
With the websites and commerce plans, the focus is a little different. With a website and commerce plan, you’ll be able to buy or connect a custom domain with your Mailchimp website.
You’ll also have access to a range of different tools, like appointment scheduling. These plans are recommended for merchants selling online for the first time.
The transactional email platform is an add-on offered by Mailchimp. This option isn’t a separate ‘plan.’ Instead, it’s something that you can choose to add to one of your existing options.
Transactional email plans are made for developers; you can use the transactional email platform to send more personal e-commerce emails to your customers with this add-on. You can also send automated transactional emails, including anything from order confirmations to password resets and welcome messages.
Note: You don’t have to choose between a marketing plan or a website and commerce plan – you can select one of each. You can also choose between monthly payments or pay-as-you-go plans, but more on that later.
Now we’ve had a look at the basics, let’s take a closer look at the pricing plans offered under each subheading. We’ll look at all the bells and whistles, from payment options to key features.
Marketing Platform Plans
If you want to try before you buy, Mailchimp’s free plan is a must. You’ll get access to all the main tools you need to grow your business and your audience, including:
- Marketing CRM: You can send 2,000 marketing emails per month, import contacts from other locations, create forms and landing pages, segment audiences, create digital ads, have access to behavioral targeting and personalization tools, and more.
- Website Builder: You can launch your own website for free. Choose from Mailchimp’s pre-designed themes and color palettes, change your layout, and start selling for free (you only pay when you make a sale).
- Creative Assistant: Creative assistant is an AI design tool that creates on-brand designs for you across multiple channels. It’ll take your logo and brand colors to create professional designs that you can use to promote your business.
- Forms & Landing Pages: You can build as many free landing pages as you need. You can even create free sign-up forms to help turn your website visitors into subscribers.
- Mailchimp Domain: With the free plan, you can get a free Mailchimp branded domain (e.g., companyname.mailchimpsites.com)
With the essentials, you’ll get everything in the free plan, plus:
- Custom Branding: You can remove all Mailchimp branding from your emails and replace it with your own.
- A/B Testing: A/B testing allows you to test your email marketing strategy to see how effective your emails are and what you can change to improve your results.
- Email Templates: You can choose from hundreds of email templates for all sorts of purposes, from promotional messages to newsletters and more.
- 24/7 Email & Chat Support: You’ll have the Mailchimp customer support team on hand 24/7 to answer any queries or concerns.
- Multi-Step Journeys: With multi-step journeys or ‘customer journeys,’ you can create automated marketing workflows for all of your contacts. You can include tags, send targeted emails, and more.
Note: $9.99/mo is based on 500 contacts.
With the standard plan, you’ll get everything in Free and Essentials, plus:
- Dynamic Content: You can create separate emails and include unique messages for different audiences. This takes the hassle out of creating hundreds of personalized emails so you can save time and focus on other areas of your business.
- Behavioral Targeting: With this feature, you can automate targeted messages to respond to specific actions such as welcome messages or product recommendations. You can also use your own behavioral data from web or mobile apps to personalize your messages even more.
- Send Time Optimization: Send time optimization allows you to send emails at the prime time for each individual recipient. This improves their likelihood of engaging with your marketing campaigns.
- Custom Templates: You can import your very own HTML coded designs to use in your future email campaigns.
- Customer Journey Builder & Branching Points: With this, you can discover how each customer interacts with your brand and use that information to personalize their experiences and create unique pathways for them to interact with you.
Note: $14.99/mo is based on 500 contacts.
This is Mailchimp’s most expensive payment plan. With the premium package, you’ll get everything from the free, standard, and essential plans, plus:
- Comparative Reporting: With comparative reporting, you can compare the success of multiple RSS campaigns or regular campaigns from one audience. You can choose which audience and campaigns you want to compare, and Mailchimp will show you the relevant statistics.
- Phone Support:
- Advanced Segmentation: This allows you to build complex relationships to filter your contacts. You can filter contacts based on subscriber data, email marketing engagement, email campaign activity, and more.
- Multivariate Testing: Multivariate testing allows customers to test an array of variables from their campaigns, so you can see how small changes can make a difference to your success. Variables could include the subject line, open rate, click rate, or total revenue.
- Unlimited Seats & Role-Based Access: With unlimited seats, you’ll get admin, author, owner, manager, or viewer permissions. Role-based access means you can assign people designated roles to streamline your work, and you can even choose what level of access you’d like to grant each user.
Note: $299/mo is based on 10,000 contacts.
A Quick Note On Marketing Platform Plans
You’ll notice that each Mailchimp Marketing Platform Plan starts at the listed price, based on a specified number of contacts. If you have more contacts than the plan is based on, you can expect to pay more per month.
For example, the premium plan starts at $299/mo based on 10,000 contacts. For 15,000 contacts this climbs to $370, and for 20,000, $420. You can go up to 200,000 contacts; however, the price tends to increase between $50-$60 per additional 5,000 contacts.
Websites & Commerce Plans
Now, let’s take a look at the website and commerce plans offered by Mailchimp.
The free plan includes all the essentials you need to build your website and launch a store. Here are just a few of the features you’ll get with the free plan:
- Website with Unlimited Pages
- Online Store with Unlimited Products
- Email Support for the first 30 days
- Appointment Scheduling
- 1 Seat
- SEO Tools, SSL Certificate, Site Visit Analytics
- Shopping Cart, Payment Processing, and Abandoned Cart Emails
- Order and Shipment Confirmation Emails
- Transaction Fees of 2%
…AND more. For a full list of features, click here.
With the core plan, you’ll get all the free plan features, plus:
- 24/7 Email and Chat Support
- 3 Seats
- Live Chat Support
- Access to Add Ons like Advanced Scheduling for additional costs.
- Transaction fees of 1.5%
With the plus plan, you’ll get everything included on the free and core plans, plus:
- 5 Seats
- Lower Transaction Fees to Scale Business (0.5%)
Note: Transaction fees for all plans vary by location.
Transactional Email Pricing
Transactional email is an add-on rather than a separate plan, so the structure is a little different. You’ll have the option to select a dedicated IP address for an additional $29.95/month, but the actual price you’ll pay for transactional email is based on estimations. Let’s take a closer look.
To get a plan price estimate, head over to this form, located underneath the ‘transactional email’ subheading, and enter an estimate of the number of emails you send per month. Mailchimp will then generate an estimate for you.
The structure works on the premise of ‘blocks.’ As you can see, each block is a credit for 25,000 emails, and you’ll be charged $20 per block. If I were to send 200 emails a month, this would fall under the one block bracket. Therefore, I would be charged $20 a month.
Pay As You Go Plan: What Is It?
With Mailchimp’s pay-as-you-go plan, you can buy email credits and avoid the hassle of monthly subscriptions. This is great if you just want to pay to send when you need to. If you’re a seasonal business or email-only marketers, the pay-as-you-go plan may be perfect for you. Let’s take a look at it in closer detail.
Once you’ve signed up, go into your account and billing settings, and select how many credits you want to buy.
Each email costs one credit, and your credits will expire after 12 months. They can be a pricey investment, so to get your money’s worth, make sure you use them in time.
There’s a great deal of flexibility with the pay-as-you-go plan. You don’t have to worry about recurring monthly fees, and you can buy credits whenever you please. However, you can ONLY use credits for sending emails, so, unfortunately, you won’t get any of the other cool tools offered by Mailchimp.
Is It Worth It?
Now we’ve covered all the pricing plans and key features offered by Mailchimp, it’s time to get down to business.
There are some serious pros and cons to discuss, especially when we consider how well Mailchimp performs compared to its other competitors.
Initially, there are a few positives to note. The built-in CRM, website builder, and newsletters are all VERY generous. Especially when we look at the features offered under the free website and commerce plan, it all looks shiny, new, and exciting.
Honestly, it would be wrong to say otherwise. Free domains, landing pages, and website builders!? Come on. That’s pretty impressive.
HOWEVER. There is ONE area that sets Mailchimp back, and it’s their pricing model. For all plans, ‘pricing starts’ based on a specified number of contacts. This is even true for the free marketing platform plan, which is ‘free’ based on 2,000 contacts.
Questionable Pricing Structure
The issue here is that this pricing model isn’t too kind to small businesses – especially when they start growing. The free plan is great for getting your feet off the ground, but when the contacts start rolling in, prices for Mailchimp plans climb fast.
As we saw with the transactional email structure, you’re looking at an additional $50-$60 per month for an extra 5,000 contacts.
To put it simply, the model isn’t scalable. Although the tools on offer are incredible (it would be hard to say otherwise), things can get so costly, it can almost feel like small businesses are being punished financially for climbing up the ranks.
There’s also another catch. In May 2019, the pricing structure changed for new users and those switching from free plans and pay-as-you-go plans to monthly structures. These customers now have to pay PER contact as opposed to subscribed contacts, as they did before.
This could make things very expensive for new users. New plans have also introduced restrictions such as email sending limits and a restriction on the number of audience lists you can have.
If you take a look at the features in the website and commerce plans, you’ll also notice that as the prices climb, there’s not a lot of additional features on offer. In fact, the only fundamental changes are the number of users and lower transaction fees.
Prices can climb high for these plans, but unfortunately, there aren’t enough additional features to justify the rise.
Big Benefits If You Can Splash The Cash
Now, if business booms and you CAN afford to work around the pricing structure, you will see some incredible results. Mailchimp is a household name for a reason. One look at their plans will show you why.
Features like multivariate testing, A/B testing, and custom branding really make Mailchimp stand out from the crowd, and they’re the sort of tools that give you the analytics to increase your engagement to record numbers. Plus, you can integrate your store and your marketing tools in just a few clicks without the need to code. These are life-saving features for small businesses!
Plus, their features like advanced segmentation are statistically proven to generate some big results. In fact, email marketing campaigns that used Mailchimp’s list segmentation had an open rate 14.06% higher than non-segmented campaigns! The click rates were also 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
However, Mailchimp’s paid plans do NOT come cheap. There are definitely more affordable options out there. However, if they’re within your budget, you may feel better off working with a reputable name. Mailchimp is one of the biggest names in marketing, and that’s what makes them so trusted with their customers.
Now we’ve had a more in-depth look at pricing structure and pros and cons, let’s offer a quick summary of the key points you need to know.
- Features like advanced segmentation and comparative reports are reserved for pro users. These features aren’t crucial to growing a business, so it may not be worth the investment for small businesses.
- Role-based access and unlimited users are great features for businesses scaling up with more employees. However, these are only available on the more expensive plans. It may not be worth the investment if you can’t benefit from the other features, like multivariate testing.
- The free marketing platform plans have a very generous amount of features on offer. If you’re considering using an email marketing solution, this free model is arguably one of the best on the market.
- The standard plan also includes features like retargeting ads for Facebook, Instagram, and Google – these can boost your engagement dramatically, and it’s well worth the try.
Ultimately, there’s a lot of variables to consider. Although the website and commerce plans have a free option, there’s really not much on offer here, and the paid plans may not be worth the money unless you want lower transaction fees.
Unfortunately, Mailchimp’s new pricing structure has really set them back. For new users, prices are soaring, and unless you can afford it, the more expensive options don’t have much on offer that you can’t find from other competitors at lower prices.
With that in mind, the pay-as-you-go plans are worth investigating if you’re a seasonal or email marketing only business. They can be cheaper than recurring plans, and you won’t have to waste money on features you might not even use.
- MailerLite Vs Mailchimp: Everything You Need To Know - December 30, 2021
- How Can I Get My Money’s Worth With ActiveCampaign Pricing? - December 30, 2021
- Constant Contact: A Review For Small Businesses - December 30, 2021