Once upon a time, when we thought about email marketing services, there was only one standout name – Mailchimp. Its easy-to-use layout and affordability made it an attractive option for businesses across the globe.
Mailchimp’s step-by-step usage opened up the email marketing world to small to medium-sized businesses that did not have an in-house marketing team. The service was so simple to use, even the least tech-savvy could get to grips with the system.
Mailchimp promoted itself as the all-in-one Integrated system that would help you grow your business on your terms. Its free-to-start template took the headache away from design issues and its reporting features allowed users to gauge the success of their campaigns quickly and easily.
Mailchimp provided a simple, free, and complete package that aided businesses from the start to the finish of each email marketing campaign.
So When Did The Dynamic Shift? And Why?
In short, there are many reasons. The most noticeable change was the shift in their pricing structure which left users confused and frustrated. As Mailchimp’s popularity grew, so too did their prices!
Mailchimp started to charge new users per contact, as opposed to just subscribed contacts. This meant that users were now paying for everyone they marketed to, which increased user spending significantly.
The other significant change made to the Mailchimp structure was that they decided to stop offering direct integration with Shopify. Understandably, this caused problems for A LOT of businesses.
Suddenly, Mailchimp didn’t seem like such an attractive offering. Don’t get us wrong, it still has a range of excellent features which appeal to a wide range of business users. However, for some, it is time to consider an alternative.
In this article, we will round up 12 of the best email marketing tools in the industry. We will also consider why despite everything, Mailchimp might still be the best choice for your business. So, let’s get down to business.
Why You Should Stick With Mailchimp
Despite the changes made to Mailchimp’s flagship pricing and service offerings, Mailchimp is still the market leader for several reasons. The following features are why we still think Mailchimp is a great choice for small to medium businesses
You Require Detailed Analytics
As reporting tools go, Mailchimp’s is one of the most detailed in the market. The integrated system allows its users to access detailed reports of the success of each campaign.
They enable users to monitor performance with Google Analytics integration, social media and click maps, and Geotracking.
You Have A Small Contact List
As Mailchimp’s free price plan now includes both subscribers and non-subscribers within their contact number, anything over 2000 contacts is chargeable. If you are a small business with a small select number of contacts you will be marketing to, then Mailchimp’s free service is still a great choice.
You Need To Design Emails Quickly And Easily
Mailchimp’s drag and drop email design system is a foolproof way to design professional-quality emails that stand out from the crowd. They are effective in engaging their audience without needing professional designers to implement.
You can quickly add links directly to your products or social media/web pages, and add interactive contact features.
Quite simply, Mailchimp is still the King of the design jungle! They also offer a range of design templates to ease the process up even further.
Why Mailchimp May Not Be Working For You
Your Budget Is Tight
Due to Mailchimp’s change in price structure, the cost of sending your email marketing campaigns could have increased significantly from when you originally started.
Non-subscribers are now included within the 2000 free plan, meaning that ALL contacts are now chargeable and counted in the initial free figure. If you are regularly sending content to an audience of over 2000 individual accounts, then Mailchimp may no longer be for you.
You Require A Complete Marketing Automation Service
If there’s one area that Mailchimp is lacking, it is their integrated marketing automation service. If you are looking to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns by assessing user behaviors in detail, then Mailchimp’s autoresponders are lacking in detail.
You Need To Manage Several Different Mailing Lists
Mailchimp considers each mailing list as an individual isolated account. This limits how creative and flexible you can be with marketing campaigns that are a little more complex.
For instance, if you have a subscriber associated with two different mailing lists, they will be classed as a subscriber twice. Mailchimp does not allow users to merge lists or link lists together.
You Need Strong Landing Pages
While Mailchimp does offer the ability to create links to specific landing pages, they are not as streamlined as some of their competitors. At best, they are basic, but they also do not allow for A/B testing or provide personalized content.
This seriously minimizes the effectiveness of the tool in providing tailored content to aid sales performance.
You Require A Reliable And All-In-One CRM System
Whilst Mailchimp does claim they offer a CRM system, their software is very basic and does not include pipeline management features.
If you are looking for a system that can assist with collating and storing customer information, managing your clients, and recording activities associated with these clients, Mailchimp’s offering may not suffice.
Depending on the number of contacts you have, you might have to consider purchasing a separate CRM system alongside your email marketing software.
You Require A Robust Data Protection Procedure
If you have a client base that stems from Europe, then having a strong data protection system in place to comply with GDPR guidance is imperative.
Mailchimp is not that company. They have toyed with the idea of removing the double opt-in feature to customers, and do not offer the ability to store data within specific countries. These are red flags for customers within the EU.
So, if you have a customer base within the EU, these are things you will have to take into account when using Mailchimp.
- Free Service – If you have a small data list, Mailchimp’s free service is a great tool
- Easy To Use – The editing system is super quick and easy to use
- Reporting Feature – Detailed, easy-to-read reports on each campaign
- Expensive Plans – Outside of the free services, price plans can be expensive if sending a lot of content to a large audience
- Basic Automation Systems – Lacks some automation features of its competitors
- Poor CRM – Data management is basic and not compliant with data protection rules
The Top 12 Mailchimp Alternatives
Now we have spent some time looking in detail at the services offered by Mailchimp, along with their pros and cons, it is now time to look at their competitors. Here we will detail the top 12 alternatives to Mailchimp, along with a detailed breakdown of each service.
Relatively new to the market, Engagbay has become a popular choice for businesses wanting a system that does a bit of everything.
This great system offers tools to assist with email and workflow automation, email marketing, social media management, and customer service management.
Engagebay has produced a piece of CRM software that is one of the most affordable on the market. Engagebay also offers a very generous free plan offering a range of services that are only offered on paid plans with many of their contemporaries.
Why EngageBay Is Better Than Mailchimp
EngageBay offers a great service with a price tag of a fraction of the cost to Mailchimp. In fact, on a like-for-like basis, Mailchimp comes in at a whopping 10X the monthly fee of EngageBay for a premium plan with pro features!
Unlike Mailchimp, EngageBay also rewards its customers for loyalty. They very generously offer a 20% discount on repeat annual subscriptions and a discount of 40% on biennial subscriptions! Which are great incentives to stick with EngageBay if the service works for you.
By bringing down the already affordable service further, EngageBay is demonstrating how they know and understand their core market of small business owners – every cent counts!
Also worth noting is the difference in customer service between the two providers for their free plan customers. EngageBay includes live chat and email support as a standard service.
Whereas this is not an option for Mailchimp free plan clients. And for such a large player in the email marketing world, it really does let Mailchimp down.
In relation to the CRM service provided by EngageBay- they have done a great job! As standard features, customers will have a separate dashboard for sales, services, and marketing. By keeping things separate and manageable, they are again showing their knowledge of their customer base.
There’s also another branch available for ‘sales deals’ where businesses can record their sales activity all in one place. The CRM system here is a great tool for small businesses looking for a service under one umbrella. As we already know, Mailchimp lags behind with its CRM offering.
If a robust CRM system is important to your business, and you are fairly small, we would recommend EngageBay’s technology for an all-in-one marketing tool.
Why EngageBay Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Unlike Mailchimp, EngageBay does not offer marketing automation as part of their free plan. This is only included for customers who sign up for a monthly subscription with the company.
EngageBay does not offer SEO and PPC search marketing with Google, Facebook, and Instagram. Mailchimp does offer these additional marketing services.
EngageBay also does not offer a dedicated desktop application for Mac and Windows, which Mailchimp does.
- Design – Very well designed layout making this tool extremely user friendly
- CRM Software – A very good all-in-one solution to customer management
- Generous Free Plan – EngageBay offers one of the most generous free plans in the industry
No Search Engine Marketing – No SEO or PPC opportunities with social media and search engine platforms
This dynamic and modern company offers a range of multilingual service options and prides itself on its modern approach and sleek designs. They offer a very good Free Forever plan and their design options for their landing pages stand out from the crowd.
Why MailerLite Is Better Than Mailchimp
If you currently use Mailchimp’s free service, then MailerLite is a great alternative option. The free service offered by MailerLite is limited to 1000 subscribers, however, it allows you to use most features.
This includes the use of a landing page editor which is superior to that offered by Mailchimp. The multilingual feature allows users to use the system in 5 different languages which is a great feature of this product.
MailerLite also has an iOS app available so you can work on the go, and their overall package offerings are significantly cheaper than Mailchimp.
Overall, if you are a small business, then Mailerlite’s free service offering is a good match for Mailchimp.
Why MailerLite Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
MailerLite’s main weakness is its inability to offer any tracking tools on its campaigns. There are no social or geo-tracking capabilities and so campaigns are not optimized effectively. The reporting features are also very basic and are no match to Mailchimp’s.
- Editing Service – The editing features from MailerLite are quick and easy to use and create professional-quality materials
- Customer Support – MailerLite offer a fantastic customer service
- Multilingual – Able to access this service in up to 5 languages
- Cost – Much cheaper than Mailchimp overall
- Poor Reporting – Very basic reporting features
- No Tracking Tools – No tracking tools available for optimization of campaigns
If you are looking for an email marketing solution that offers excellent marketing automation features, then you cannot beat ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign describes itself as an ‘all-in-one marketing platform’ and allows its users the freedom to create complex sequences of marketing campaigns to reach their business goals whilst sending less content.
ActiveCampaign has the ability to set limits on campaigns such as a delayed send date, which is an extremely attractive feature as you can plan campaigns ahead of time and schedule accordingly.
All plans feature unlimited emails which is another attractive feature.
Why ActiveCampaign Is Better Than Mailchimp
The CRM system is one of the best in the industry. It is simple to use, robust, and constantly evolving to include more features. Their list management feature is also a strong feature of the software.
ActiveCampaign’s email automation system is second to none and allows users to create personalized and detailed landing pages based on user behavior. You can create complex timed automation, run A/B Tests and create personalized content on your landing pages.
ActiveCampaign have a dedicated customer support team which have ranked very highly for their friendly, timely, and knowledgeable service. They also offer a live chat service which is great. The overall cost of ActiveCampaign on a like-for-like basis is also cheaper than Mailchimp.
Why ActiveCampaign Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
ActiveCampaign does not have any free plans as part of their service so cannot compete with Mailchimp’s small business service offering.
Mailchimp’s design template is also much more sophisticated and easier to use, and their reporting and eCommerce tracking features are far superior.
ActiveCampaign also charges for integration with certain e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, whereas this is a free service with Mailchimp.
- Easy To Use – A fairly simple system with lots of online support from their knowledgeable team
- Automation Services – Ability to run A/B tests and, detailed and timed automation services
- CRM Software – Very good client management database and list management system
- Reporting – The reporting services are not as detailed as those provided by Mailchimp
- Cost – Overall cost is more expensive than Mailchimp on a like-for-like basis
Sendinblue is a fairly new addition to the world of email marketing, however, they are making waves in the industry due to their dynamic services and cost-effective solutions.
This Paris-based company provides some of the cheapest plans on the market without sacrificing the quality of their product. The list management tools and email automation options are a very good alternative to Mailchimp.
The drag and drop editor is also a very good rival to Mailchimp’s and includes a step-by-step guide to ensure nothing is forgotten. It is easy to use and creates engaging and professional content quickly.
Why Sendinblue Is Better Than Mailchimp
Sendinblue has a more advanced automation system than Mailchimp which allows users to A/B test numerous components. You are also able to send SMS through Sendinblue which is not an option with Mailchimp.
The overall cost of the service is also cheaper than Mailchimp.
Why Sendinblue Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Sendinblue’s system can sometimes be a bit slow and it is not as easy to use for beginners as Mailchimp. The report function is also not as accurate or as in-depth as Mailchimp’s and the template editor is also no competition to Mailchimp.
- Cost – Sendinblue offers an extremely well-rounded package at a lower rate than Mailchimp
- Automation – Advanced system allows users to test several different components
- List Management – Good systems in place to manage a large amount of data
- Analytics – Sendinblue do not offer reports or analytics as sophisticated as Mailchimp’s
Moosend offers a very generous Free Forever Plan, which also allows you to access the majority of their pro features. There are also a large number of responsive templates and advanced segmentation.
You also have the option to pay as you go, which is significantly less than Mailchimp’s offering.
Why Moosend Is Better Than Mailchimp
Moosend offers a very generous free plan which allows its users to send unlimited emails and have access to their workflow editor for free, albeit to only 1000 subscribers.
All emails are ad-free and even their paid plans are not too expensive, charging only $0.0001 per email on their pay-as-you-go system! This is significantly less than any plan of Mailchimp’s.
Also included in their free plan is advanced segmentation which is a great feature. Landing pages can be unlocked once users purchase a paid plan.
Why Moosend Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
There are several areas where Moosend could use some improvement. Notably, Moosend’s deliverability requires some changes, and campaign performance rates can be low.
- Free Forever Plan – A very generous free forever plan is included to allow unlimited emails to 100 subscribers
- Pay As You Go Service – Very reasonably priced plan to allow subscribers flexibility
- User Friendly – Straightforward layout and design make this simple to use
- Deliverability – Issues with deliverability can result in low campaign performance rates
GetResponse offers a great tool to create engaging content that can also be designed on the road. Their iOS and Android apps are an appealing extra if you spend a lot of time away from the office.
They also offer additional extras free of charge such as access to iStock photo images to add some spark to your email campaigns.
GetResponse also offers a great automation service, along with their unique landing page creator, and a webinar design tool. Their newsletter tool is also one of the easiest to use on the market. As an all-around design tool, GetResponse scores very highly.
Why GetResponse Is Better Than Mailchimp
GetResponse is a great tool for creating email marketing campaigns that are engaging and will assist you to convert to sales (if that is their purpose) easily. Their unique conversion funnel feature will facilitate setting up sales funnels in response to specific campaigns.
GetResponse is a go-to for international teams due to there being 25 languages available. Another huge bonus to GetResponse is that you can easily transfer subscribers from one list to another.
There are very powerful email marketing automations available which allow A/B Testing, and the ability to trigger your sales conditions.
They provide access to a multimedia center with iStock photos for free. You can also generate QR codes from this tool which is a bonus.
Why GetResponse Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
The free plan service by GetResponse cannot compete with Mailchimp’s and is very limited. For instance, as opposed to Mailchimp’s free 2000 subscriber list, GetResponce only allows 500. Similarly, they also limit how many multimedia files can be stored in their media center. Mailchimp do not.
Other features that Mailchimp offers for free which GetResponse does not include abandoned cart emails and contact tagging. With GetResponse, these features are only included in their more expensive plans.
GetResponse also lacks heatmaps and doesn’t have analytic capabilities as good as Mailchimp’s.
- Email Automations – Very powerful email automation tool
- Mobile App – A great tool to use your system on the go
- Assisted Builder Tool – Landing Page Builder and Webinar creator for ease of use
- Analytics and Reports – Can’t compete with the sophisticated systems offered by Mailchimp
This new contender to the email marketing world has only been established since 2013 but has caused a stir in the market. They have created a system with digital marketers at the forefront.
They promote a transparent and simple-to-use system. And they are also transparent as a company, with their views and values openly shared. Their financial situation is also available online so you can rest assured that the company is in a good, stable position before signing up with them.
Why ConvertKit Is Better Than Mailchimp
ConvertKit has understood the importance of customer support from the off, and as such has a very responsive support team on hand at all times, something Mailchimp does struggle with.
They have also developed a tool that allows you to manage contacts and lists flexibly, so you can create more targeted campaigns.
ConverKit has also designed a custom domain name for landing pages which is a big feature available across all plans, even their free offering.
Why ConvertKit Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
ConvertKit is still fairly new to the email marketing world, and this is reflected in some of their services.
Their free plan offering is a recent development and is not as generous as Mailchimp’s offering at only 1000 subscribers.
They have also not developed reporting or editing tools that can compare with Mailchimp’s on any level.
Another tool that is not available with ConvertKit but is with Mailchimp, is the ability to create users for several team members. A useful tool that is missed with this system.
- Customer Support – ConvertKit offers a very responsive customer service offering which is extremely helpful
- List And Contact Management – Very easy to use and manage contacts to create targeted campaigns
- Features – ConcertKit can not match Mailchimp on many features such as reporting and editing
Next on our list is e-commerce focused Omnisend. This email and SMS platform provide a great tool if e-commerce is a big part of your business with conversion-focused automation and segmentation options.
Unlike Mailchimp, Omnisend integrates very well with Shopify. It also integrates with Magento, WooCommerce, Big Commerce, Volusion, and PrestaShop.
If your business is e-commerce based, then Omnisend is a great choice for you.
Why Omnisend Is Better Than Mailchimp
In a similar way to Mailchimp, Omnisend has a large offering of automations for online businesses, including cart recovery and browser abandonment which are BIG requirements if you’re in e-commerce!
However, Omnisend has taken a step further to understand their target audience and what they might want from their marketing tool.
Unique features such as incentives for sign-ups, ‘spin the wheel’ incentive games, interactive gift boxes, automated product recommendations, and the option to ‘live view’ website tracking are all included. These added services trump Mailchimp’s offering and assist massively with boosting conversions.
Omnisend has designed a system where small amounts of data are used to segment and style your lists moving forward. For instance, customers who have previously used a discount code, or purchased a specific product. You can then tailor your lists according to trends. Very, very clever, Omnisend!
Also, one last thing to add here. Unlike at Mailchimp, Omnisend’s landing templates are VERY snazzy and modern.
Why Omnisend Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Whilst the e-commerce offering of Omnisend is fantastic, if you’re not in the e-commerce game it’s probably not right for you. It doesn’t offer the versatility of Mailchimp in its email template and automation offerings.
Similarly, it does not offer its segmentation and automation services in its free plan, which Mailchimp currently does.
- E-commerce Compatibility – This is probably the most compatible marketing tool for e-commerce customers
- Unique Features – Great quirky features to stand out from the crowd
- Landing Page Templates – A great selection of modern and streamlined landing page templates on offer
- Versatility- Outside of its e-commerce offerings, Omnisend is not a match for Mailchimp
9. Zoho Campaigns
This service by Zoho Campaigns is slightly different as it doesn’t just focus on email marketing and client relationship tools but provides a whole suite of services to cover the whole business.
They aim to transform the way you work, and this package covers everything from Finance to CRM. We’ve added them to our list as their free plan covers a huge range of free services which puts them in as a competitor to Mailchimp.
Why Zoho Campaigns Is Better Than Mailchimp
Where Zoho really leads is through its powerful end-to-end CRM platform. Fully customizable, this platform allows users to set up streams of workflows to move leads through your sales funnels to generate more income.
Zoho also offers automation workflows for e-commerce, re-engagement, and nurturing, and Zoho comes into their own with this.
Zoho also has a cool range of email and page templates, and they also have a great feature that allows you to upload images from Unsplash directly in the editor.
Zoho also offers simple list management and segmentation offerings to keep life simple and hassle-free.
Why Zoho Campaigns Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Mailchimp’s overall offering is more versatile and provides a better range of general marketing services. It is also easier to navigate for beginners and has better integration services.
Zoho Campaign Pros
- CRM Platform – Zoho’s CRM platform is a fully customizable, end-to-end service offering for growing businesses
- List Management – Simple and clear list management and segmentation options
- One Umbrella– If you like to manage all elements of your business under one roof, Zoho is a good choice for you
Zoho Campaign Cons
- Versatility- Does not offer the range of email marketing services of Mailchimp or other platforms
This French company offers affordable newsletter software and email services, and due to its cost, is an appealing alternative to Mailchimp.
A standout feature of Mailjet is its ability to offer collaborations through the newsletter editor in real-time! Meaning groups of colleagues can work on documents at the same time, greatly speeding up the design process.
Why Mailjet Is Better Than Mailchimp
A standout feature of Mailjet is its commitment to making sure your message is heard. They understand that if you’ve spent a long time creating an email or newsletter, your mail must be delivered to your subscribers.
Based on deliverability tests, Mailjet came out very highly with scores up in the mid-nineties.
The pricing structure of Mailjet is also a massive appeal. Their free service plan offers up to 200 emails a day with no contact limit and their paid plans are also very affordable.
To put this into context, Mailjet offers their Premium Plan based on 15,000 contacts per month, at the same monthly fee as Mailchimp’s Essentials plan aimed at 1500 contacts per month!
Why Mailjet Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Mailjet is a great alternative to Mailchimp if you’re looking for a simple yet effective email/newsletter management system for a fraction of the price. The only real area that caused a disappointment was its automations capabilities.
These are limited to contact and date-based field information, as opposed to behavioral automations such as ‘clicked on X product’. By missing out on this information, Mailjet is limiting the sales opportunities from campaigns.
- Price – Very affordable service offering for a large amount of content at a fraction of the price
- Real-Time Collaborations – Work with anyone, anywhere!
- Deliverability – Reliable delivery stats to make sure your message is heard!
- Lack Of Automation Options – The inability to look at the trends of customers is a disappointment on this otherwise great product
AWeber has been in the business for a long time, in fact even longer than Mailchimp! They offer an all-in-one email marketing tool with features such as A/B testing, conversion and analytics tracking, and all of the basics you would expect.
They also offer various mobile apps, which is ideal if you need to create and send content on the go.
Why AWeber Beats Mailchimp
AWeber offers a good level of support for their customers with a range of educational tools on hand to guide them through each step of the system.
They also have a great list management feature to assist in keeping track of your subscribers. You can also use automatic automations to manage your subscribers via unique rules created by the user.
Why AWeber Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
AWeber has not always included a free plan as part of their service offering, and this is reflective in the service they do offer. Limited to just 500 subscribers, the service is not a match for Mailchimp’s much more generous and inclusive program.
- Customer Support- A range of educational tools available to guide you through any processes
- Long-Standing Company – AWeber has been in the business for a long time. They know the market and they are a company you can trust
- Managing Subscribers – AWeber offers a range of tools to keep your subscriber lists organized so you can proactively market them
- Limited Free Plan – Very limited services available for free plan customers
Benchmark’s main selling point is its international presence with availability in 15 countries around the world.
They offer very good free and low price plans, however, their more advanced services are priced at the middle to higher end of the market. Do the advanced features warrant these prices? Are they the main competitor to look out for? Let’s take a look!
Why Benchmark Beats Mailchimp
Benchmark offers a great support system for its customers and is always on hand to help and guide its users.
They are also a fantastic choice for international and multilingual teams.
Why Benchmark Can’t Compete With Mailchimp
Even though Benchmark does offer a large range of services, their automation and reporting tools are no match for Mailchimp’s advanced systems.
Their free plan is also much more restricted than Mailchimp with them only offering 250 emails per month to their free package clients.
Another point of difference is regarding image data storage. They currently only offer a very limited amount of data, which is unlimited with Mailchimp.
- Customer Support – A dedicated customer service team on hand to help with any issues as and when they arise
- Multilingual Service Offering – Available in 15 countries, Benchmark is a great option for international business
- Good All Around Service Offering – Benchmark provides a good all-around email marketing service with everything you would expect from a marketing tool
- Limited Data – Very limited data storage options available
Whilst we are aware that Mailchimp is still the powerhouse of the email marketing world, from looking through its competitors, they may not be the right choice for you.
Based on your business size, budget, and what you require from your email marketing system, will all play a factor in making a decision that works for your business.
If you are a small business with limited requirements for a lot of content to be sent out, and to minimal subscribers, then Mailchimp’s free service plan will still be ideal for you. However, you can also mix this up with Mailjet, which offers a great alternative for small businesses to remotely collaborate on projects.
On the other hand, if you are a larger business with a large marketing budget, then once again Mailchimp’s versatile and fully rounded professional service is still a great choice.
However, if your requirements are more specific, and if you want to understand your customers’ shopping habits and trends with state-of-the-art automations, then perhaps a system by ActiveCampaign or GetResponse would be a better solution for you.
Choosing the right email marketing system is a daunting task. Get it wrong and it can end in disaster. Get it right and you can streamline efficiency, gain great insights into your subscriber behaviors, and increase your business’s sales.
Whilst there is a huge range of products on the market to choose from, we hope that this detailed analysis of Mailchimp and its main competitors will make the decision that little bit easier.
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