With its substantial advertising budget, Mailchimp has become a widely recognized marketing automation platform. Its aim is to make email marketing more user-friendly, and it has recently added several ecommerce features. This brand has undergone a transformation, prompting us to compare it with other players in the market and evaluate its performance in this review.
Mailchimp Benefits and Downsides
Email Templates: Mailchimp provides some of the most visually appealing email templates available on the market. With pre-designed templates, you can easily customize them to suit your needs. The platform also offers themes that require minimal effort, allowing you to add your text and send your emails quickly. Whether you prefer a hands-on approach or something more streamlined, Mailchimp's selection of templates and themes offer flexibility and ease of use for your email marketing campaigns.
When it comes to presenting a professional image through your email marketing campaigns, Mailchimp is undoubtedly a top choice. The platform offers support for various email types, including autoresponders, classic newsletters, and transactional emails. Additionally, Mailchimp provides a decent A/B testing feature, enabling you to determine which emails perform best and make data-driven decisions to improve your campaigns.
Mailchimp is an excellent option for businesses or individuals just starting with email marketing, as it offers a straightforward, entry-level platform. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use, making it a great introduction to email marketing. Additionally, the drag-and-drop email builder makes it simple to create your first campaign without any coding knowledge required.
Despite its simplicity, Mailchimp also supports more advanced users. Those who are experienced with HTML can take advantage of the platform's custom builder to create unique email templates. This feature provides greater flexibility for those who require it while still maintaining a user-friendly interface for those new to email marketing. Overall, Mailchimp offers a versatile and accessible email marketing platform suitable for both beginners and experienced users.
Mailchimp's advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities can significantly simplify your email marketing campaigns. The platform can automatically identify your top-selling products or customer preferences and then suggest the most effective content blocks based on these metrics.
Furthermore, Mailchimp's smart feature can identify and segment your high-value potential clients and repeat customers who are most likely to make a purchase. The software also provides actionable suggestions based on billions of related data points to improve your campaign performance. These AI-powered recommendations can help you optimize your email campaigns and achieve better results with minimal effort.
Advanced Reporting: Mailchimp's reporting feature is superior to that of its competitors, offering robust and comprehensive data analysis. With a straightforward visual report dashboard, monitoring your campaign's success is effortless. The reports provide real-time data on all the essential metrics, such as open rate, bounce rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate, allowing you to track your email campaign's performance accurately.
In addition to email campaign reporting, Mailchimp's reporting feature also extends to your landing pages and ad performance. With Mailchimp, you can track the exact return on investment (ROI), views, clicks, and customer acquisitions of your ads. Similarly, you can monitor your landing page metrics, including clicks, views, revenue, and list signups. This comprehensive reporting feature provides you with valuable insights to help you make data-driven decisions and optimize your marketing strategies.
All-in-One Marketing Hub:
Mailchimp has expanded its list of services and features through several recent acquisitions. Notably, Mailchimp has acquired Inspector 6, an AI content platform, Sawa, an automated design platform, and BigTeam, a survey platform.
These acquisitions have enabled Mailchimp to offer a range of digital marketing features beyond the capabilities of a standard email marketing platform. For instance, Mailchimp now supports SMS marketing, thanks to its merger with Chatitive, a two-way SMS platform. Other digital marketing add-ons include multi-channel campaigns, built-in CRM, custom domains and hosting services, and a website builder. These new services and features provide Mailchimp users with a broader set of tools to create and execute successful digital marketing campaigns.
Like any other email marketing service available, Mailchimp also has its flaws and imperfections.
Low-Level Automation: Mailchimp's automation features are adequate for beginner campaigns. The platform includes essential features such as auto-responses, automatic email reminders for abandoned carts, personalized product recommendations, and feedback. These features are sufficient for small-scale campaigns. However, Mailchimp lacks some critical automation features such as automated customer segmentation or deleting people from a sequence. This results in weak automation capabilities, particularly when compared to top competitors like MailerLite.
List Management Difficulty: The main selling point of Mailchimp is its simplicity, which has contributed to its widespread popularity. However, this approach has also resulted in a significant disadvantage for the platform: managing mailing lists can be challenging.
Mailchimp's list management is siloed, making it impossible to manage across lists. To optimize the service, you'll need to create a single list. But this method restricts your ability to target specific audiences, as Mailchimp's segmentation feature is not well-developed.
Doesn’t Support Affiliate Marketing: Although it may not be a significant concern for most users, it's important to know that Mailchimp doesn't support affiliate marketing and even penalizes those who engage in it. Affiliate marketing is prohibited under the platform's terms of service. While Mailchimp technically permits affiliate links in certain circumstances, navigating this policy can be confusing, making it difficult for affiliate marketers to use the service effectively. Therefore, if you plan to use affiliate marketing as a significant part of your email marketing strategy, it may be best to look for a different email marketing service.
Mailchimp Pricing Plans
Mailchimp provides four pricing plans, one of which is free, with a flexible payment system. You can opt for either a monthly recurring charge or a pay-as-you-go plan, which enables you to purchase email credits as required.
Mailchimp Free Plan
Mailchimp's free plan offers an array of features that are useful for smaller businesses. For instance, the monthly email send limit is capped at 10,000 emails, and there's a daily limit of 2,000 emails. Moreover, the contact list is limited to 2,000 contacts in this tier. Despite being a free plan, you can still access many features such as a built-in marketing CRM, Mailchimp domain, website builder, creative assistant, forms, and landing pages.
Mailchimp Essential Plan
Mailchimp's second pricing tier is the Essential plan, which is priced at $11 per month for 500 contacts. However, you can store up to 50,000 contacts at an additional cost. In this plan, your monthly send limit is ten times your maximum contact count. Additionally, you gain access to more features, including email and landing page templates, custom branding, a customer journey builder, A/B testing, and 24/7 email and chat support.
While Mailchimp's Essential plan is not bad, there are better deals available elsewhere, with even more features included. For instance, MailerLite's Growing Business plan costs slightly less at $9 per month and includes unlimited monthly emails, dynamic emails, the ability to sell digital products, unlimited websites and blogs, and auto-resend campaigns.
It's also worth noting the contact count, which refers to the number of individual members who can receive or view your emails. Unfortunately, non-subscribed and unsubscribed contacts are also included in this count, making this pricing structure a bit misleading. You may end up paying for inactive contacts unless you clean up your contact list, which is not explicitly stated.
Mailchimp Standard Plan
The standard plan enables you to store up to 100,000 contacts, but the starting cost of $17 per month only covers up to 500 contacts. As you increase your contact list, the price increases accordingly. For instance, if you have 10,000 contacts, the plan will cost you $155 per month.
Thankfully, Mailchimp offers a price calculator that provides an accurate estimate of the monthly cost based on your estimated contact list size.
Compared to other email marketing services, this is a reasonable price. Nevertheless, you should keep an eye on your inactive contacts to avoid overspending.
Mailchimp Premium Plan
The Premium plan of Mailchimp starts at $299 per month, providing a send limit of 15x the plan’s contact limit of 10,000 contacts. Although you can store up to 20,000 contacts, the plan also includes advanced features, such as advanced segmentation, unlimited seats & role-based access, comparative reporting, multivariate testing, and priority support.
Mailchimp's pricing is fair, but it can be a little confusing. Additionally, the price increases considerably as you scale up your marketing campaign. For large agencies with complex marketing campaigns, AWeber might be a better choice, as it is less expensive and offers more robust features required by an agency.
Features Offered to Its Competitors
Let's examine how Mailchimp stacks up against its primary competitors.
Mailchimp Audience Management
Mailchimp provides an extensive array of audience management features, ranging from standard features to more advanced ones that can significantly enhance your email marketing campaigns. Among these features are:
- Signup forms
- Built-in customer relationship management (CRM)
- Behavioral targeting
- Predicted demographics
- Tags and contact profiles
Mailchimp's built-in CRM is one of its best features in the audience management category, and it's available across all tiers, including the free plan. This functionality surpasses the competition, as competitors like MailerLite only offer CRM integration. Mailchimp's built-in CRM offers various useful capabilities such as ready-made segment connections, audience filtering, a unified dashboard, and automated messaging.
In addition, Mailchimp's Standard and Premium plans offer a useful behavioral targeting feature that improves the platform's segmentation capability. This feature uses the audience's behavioral data to create accurate audience segments, allowing you to send targeted offers and reminders to the right people. Furthermore, Mailchimp's predicted demographics feature uses data science to predict demographic variables like age and gender. This data can be used to further segment your audiences.
While these are great features, Mailchimp's list-based structure makes it challenging to manage contacts across lists.
Mailchimp Creative Tools
Mailchimp provides all the necessary tools to help you build your email marketing campaign from the ground up. The platform's creative tools are designed for ease of use and include:
- Content studio
- Dynamic content
- Creative assistant
- Subject line helper
- Campaign templates
Although Mailchimp may not be the ideal platform for those who prioritize granular customizations, such as importing contact data for large lists or limited customization options beyond the templates, its simplicity is hard to beat. It's the perfect tool for those creating their first email marketing campaign. The subject line helper provides real-time feedback for critical criteria like word count, character count, and punctuation, while the AI-powered creative assistant automatically creates and resizes designs based on your brand's data.
Additionally, Mailchimp allows the option to import custom HTML templates, making it a great choice for those with HTML coding knowledge. While intermediate designers may find the standard templates too simple and rigid or creating a new one from scratch using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) too complex, beginners and experienced admins or developers will feel comfortable creating the ideal campaign using Mailchimp.
Mailchimp Marketing Automation
Automation can greatly reduce your workload, allowing you to automate repetitive tasks and focus on your core marketing functions. However, when it comes to automation features, Mailchimp falls short. The platform only offers basic automation features, such as:
- Customer journeys
- Send time optimization
- Transactional emails
The basic automation features offered by Mailchimp can be useful for those who are just starting out with email marketing. For example, the platform can automatically send emails at the best time based on your account's engagement data, which can be helpful in ensuring that your emails are reaching your audience at the right time. However, for more sophisticated users, these basic features may be limiting. They may require more advanced automation features like customer journeys, which allow you to create a series of emails triggered by specific actions or events, or integrations with other tools to streamline their workflow. You may read our Top Automation Testing tools that may help on saving of your time.
Mailchimp Insights & Analytics
Mailchimp's analytics tool is essential for tracking the performance of your campaigns. It has a unified dashboard that provides insights and analytics for all your audiences. Additionally, you get:
- Smart recommendations
- A/B testing
Mailchimp offers several helpful analytics tools, such as A/B testing, which lets you compare emails to determine your best-performing ones. You can compare various metrics like subject lines, from names, content, and send times, but you're limited to testing up to three variations. The intelligent recommendations feature is also noteworthy as it provides personalized suggestions on how to optimize your imagery, copy, and layout to increase engagement. However, it's important to note that Mailchimp's insight and analytics features are relatively basic and designed for simplicity. While they are useful for beginners and smaller businesses, larger agencies with complex campaigns may prefer a more advanced tool like AWeber or MailerLite.
Top Competitors of Mailchimp
As a marketer or business owner, having a reliable email marketing platform is crucial for the success of your campaigns. While Mailchimp is a popular choice, it's not the only one on the market. In fact, there are several Mailchimp alternatives available that offer similar or even better features. Choosing the right platform can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaigns, so it's important to explore your options and find the best fit for your specific needs. In this way, considering Mailchimp alternatives can help you identify the best email marketing platform for your business.
- Constant Contact: A well-known platform for email marketing that provides a variety of functionalities such as email automation, social media posting, and website building tools.
- AWeber is a well-known email marketing platform that provides comparable features to Mailchimp, such as subscriber segmentation, email automation, and landing page creation.
- Campaign Monitor: Campaign Monitor is a powerful email marketing tool that offers advanced features like behavioral targeting, dynamic content, and in-depth analytics.
- GetResponse: A comprehensive marketing platform that provides users with a range of features, including email marketing, marketing automation, and landing page creation. It is particularly well-suited for ecommerce businesses.
- Sendinblue: A comprehensive marketing automation platform that provides a diverse range of tools to assist businesses in their marketing efforts, including email marketing, SMS marketing, and live chat. It is known for its user-friendly interface and affordable pricing.
Mailchimp is a great option for marketers who are just starting out. It provides step-by-step guidance for creating your first email marketing campaign, and you won't need a separate web design and domain service for your ecommerce website. Additionally, the free plan is perfect for a small-scale trial campaign.
However, compared to competitors like Constant Contact, MailerLite, and AWeber, Mailchimp is not as robust. These options are more suitable for advanced marketers and agencies. Moreover, as you scale your campaign, Mailchimp's pricing can become quite expensive. Considering everything, the alternatives we mentioned offer a better deal.
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