November 19, 2018

MailChimp Review

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Even in the golden age of social media and a zillion chat apps, nothing connects you to your audience better than email.

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But email marketing platforms are a dime a dozen. Pricing can get complicated, fast. And, managing contacts, segmenting users, and tracking performance aren't always the most straightforward tasks.

If you're not careful, the wrong email marketing tool can cost a lot of cash and land you in the spam folder.

With easy editing and a selection of reporting tools, MailChimp has become a household name for good reason. Plus, it's super affordable and speaks to our universal love of cute, cartoon animals.

But is it the best newsletter service for your business?

What Is MailChimp?

MailChimp is a massive email marketing platform that provides service to over 7 million users worldwide and sends about 10 billion emails a month.

Here's how it works.

Users design professional-looking newsletters. They then customize them by choosing from a selection of customizable templates with a code-free, drag-and-drop editor. Once you've designed your newsletter, MailChimp lets you send it to subscribers and track campaign performance.

The tool integrates with a wide variety of other digital tools like Google Analytics, PayPal, Shopify, and Salesforce.

Beyond designing and sending out email newsletters, users can set segmentation rules targeting specific groups and preschedule campaigns. In other words, you can set it, forget it, and send custom messages based on user actions.

MailChimp also comes with some decent reporting tools, so you can track your successes and failures as you grow your business.

Keep reading to learn the benefits—and drawbacks—of the platform.

Why We Like MailChimp

Here are some reasons you may want to consider MailChimp for your marketing needs.

  • Wide variety of templates: Drag-and-drop templates are mobile responsive, though, we should mention, standard templates are not.

  • Great editor: Unlike other tools, you don't have to use the pre-designed templates. Paste in your code for a more customized form or build from scratch inside the platform.

  • Add fields, change colors, and create more than just emails: You can also develop pop-ups and landing pages that integrate with your site.

  • Easy to use: You can't beat MailChimp when it comes to ease of use. The tool comes with clear navigation and an attractive interface.

    While the initial setup process takes a bit of effort, once you're set up, you'll be designing templates and putting together campaigns in no time.

  • Generous free plan: Most of the features are available with the free plan. MailChimp puts caps on the number of emails and subscribers, but you'll only need to upgrade as you grow your business. Not a bad deal.

  • Solid reporting tools: MailChimp gives you everything you'd need to know about the state of your email campaign.

  • Decent deliverability: MailChimp is pretty reliable for bypassing the spam folder, only about 15% of emails ended up in spam.

  • Removes hard bounces: Hard bounces are removed immediately, and soft bounces are resent for three days. Eventually, MailChimp will pull soft bounces from your lists if the problem occurs over multiple campaigns.

Why You Might Look Elsewhere

Check out these reasons MailChimp might be the wrong platform for you.

  • Automation isn't that simple: This is more of a "half con" because it's nice that MailChimp includes automation. This allows users to set rules based on opens, clicks, and other actions. That said, there's no workflow view available, which might make setting automation difficult. More complicated automation is possible in the tool, but it's hard to use.

  • Personalization is tricky: MailChimp offers if/then logic, but it's not very user-friendly. It's nice that this option is available, but users may get frustrated trying to set this up.

  • Self-service customer support: In an effort to keep costs down, MailChimp does not offer phone support. The brand does provide email and chat support, as well as a robust knowledge base. Still, sometimes the most efficient way to get help is to talk to a real person.

Considering using MailChimp? Check out what the platform will cost you.

Pricing Breakdown

MailChimp offers a few different pricing options. Keep in mind that the breakdown can be a bit confusing. Read carefully before pulling the trigger.

Here's the quick rundown:

  • Forever Free
    The Forever Free plan supports up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month. This plan is pretty decent, given that you don't have to pay for it.

    You will miss out on some of the advanced features like delivery by time zone, inbox preview, and chat and email support. That said, you'll still have access to the Knowledge Base—and you probably know someone who has used the platform.

  • Growing Business, $10+ a Month
    Level up to the growing business plan and MailChimp throws in a few more features. But it can get a little confusing when the limits start to change.

    At the $10 price point, you can market up to 500 subscribers but send unlimited messages. The price increases by increments for additional subscribers. For example, 1,500-2,000 subscribers costs $25 a month.

    The benefit of the upgrade is you'll now have access to email and chat support, time zone-based delivery, and predicted demographics.

  • Pro Marketing, $199 a month, plus an extra $10+ a month
    MailChimp also provides some pay-as-you-go pricing models, designed for low-volume users who need a professional newsletter on occasion.

    With the Pro plan, you'll still pay by the number of subscribers on your list, like the Growing plan, in addition to the $199 per month for advanced features.

    Upgrading to the Pro means you'll now have access to advanced automation features, multivariate testing, and MailChimp's API.


As we've noted, MailChimp offers email and chat support to paying customers only, so you're on your own if you opt for the Forever Free plan. Customer support is knowledgeable and relatively responsive.

There's no phone support available for any plan, which may be a deal breaker for some customers. The idea is that you'll be able to find everything you need through the platform's extensive knowledge base.

And the knowledge base IS pretty informative. This page, for example, covers everything automation, from merge tags to welcome emails.

How Does MailChimp Compare?

Wondering how MailChimp fares against its competitors? We compare them for you.

MailChimp vs. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a little more expensive than MailChimp, but it comes with more features like:

  • Predictive analytics
  • Split-testing
  • Personalized content
  • Lead segmentation

and more. It also boasts a mobile app and social CRM.

That said, Constant Contact has a steeper learning curve than MailChimp and limited storage. Still, if you're a growing business that wants more reporting features, Constant Contact might be a better bet.

MailChimp vs. AWeber
MailChimp and AWeber are pretty similar. AWeber comes with a few more features like a built-in CRM. It also has 700+ templates and the ability to create invoices. AWeber and MailChimp have a similar pricing structure, though AWeber doesn't have a free plan.

Both platforms are affordable options for smaller businesses. But each has notable downsides.

AWeber is slightly better at automation, but it's tricky to move between subscriber lists. MailChimp is super easy to use, but automation isn't great. The platform also comes with limited segmentation features.

MailChimp vs. ConvertKit
MailChimp and ConvertKit both offer a simplified approach to building email newsletters and sending them to your list.

ConvertKit, however, is made primarily for content creators. This tool comes with a limited selection of templates and does not offer the colorful, designed email templates you'll get with MailChimp.

What ConvertKit lacks in custom design, they make up for in features. For example, ConvertKit allows you to create a variety of forms—exit-intent, modal, and scroll-based pop-ups.

MailChimp is more affordable than ConvertKit, which does not offer a free plan.

Bottom Line

MailChimp is a robust email marketing tool.

You'll get everything you need to get started with email marketing, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro. And, if you're super new to the email marketing game, the free plan provides some decent functionality.

The template builder is solid, and the fact that the platform integrates with so many other SaaS tools adds a ton of value. It may not be the most powerful email service provider on the market, but it gets the job done.

For companies that need better deliverability or more complex automation, MailChimp probably isn't the best option.

But for small businesses and freelancers, MailChimp brings a lot to the table. It's inexpensive and allows you to run marketing campaigns that look professional—no marketing budget required.

Write to Grace S at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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ClickFunnels Review

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