MailChimp Alternatives (+ Pros & Cons)

If you’re running a successful blog with regular updates, you may want to consider some MailChimp alternatives. “What’s MailChimp?” I hear you ask, well, I’ll tell you.

MailChimp is a piece of software that manages mailing lists. You can create and manage lists, newsletters, marketing campaigns, etc. It’s an all-in-one solution for marketing; reaching out to customers as well as analysing data and performance.

MailChimp has been around for some time and has already established itself within the market. For those that are starting out, MailChimp may already be on your list of email marketing software. However, if you’ve already had a lot of experience with email marketing in the eCommerce industry, you may be considering a MailChimp alternative.

 

What does MailChimp offer?

One of the main reasons MailChimp still holds a firm position in the industry is it’s user-friendliness. MailChimp sports drag and drop functionality for it’s campaign builder. Even if you’ve never looked at an email marketing campaign builder before, I’m confident MailChimp would make sense to you.

 

 

It offers a wide variety of templates to get you started. Starting your email marketing campaign is quick and easy with MailChimp. You’ll also find a ton of automation workflows too which are very helpful. The only issue I have with this feature is that you can’t add more channels. They offer email only, nothing above and beyond.

If you’re keen on using automation workflows for your business, you may find MailChimp’s are a little on the basic side. There’s no visual composer, so the software just uses the list of emails in the sequence that’s setup. Flexibility isn’t a top priority here, which is why I think more advanced users may prefer an alternative.

 

Pros and cons of MailChimp

Pros:

In-depth reporting and analysis
Free plan available with up to 10,000 emails
Powerful template editor

 

Cons:

Subscriptions are very costly
Advanced automation isn’t great

 

MailChimp Features

MailChimp is a solid email and marketing piece of software but it does have its downfalls. Although they do offer a free plan, it comes with limitations. Their essentials plan costs £7.96 per month, their standard plan costs £11.95 per month, and their premium plan costs a whopping £238.31 per month.

 

 

It’s for this reason (among others) that I decided to look at some MailChimp alternatives. I’m not doubting how great their software is, but there are others out there. Not everyone has a budget that MailChimp can cater for, and not everyone will want what they offer.

I’ve put together this helpful comparison on MailChimp alternatives. I’ve signed up to each email software to give you an honest and unbiased review.

 

MailChimp alternative #1: ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing solution for small businesses. It offers marketing automation as well as sales automation.

 

 

Their email marketing only version is called ActiveCampaign Lite. Users can create and design email campaigns with a range of features including:

Auto responder functionality
Sign up confirmations
Order confirmations
Segmented contact lists
RSS
A/B split testing
Event based campaigns

 

 

I’d recommend ActiveCampaign Lite for B2B and B2C businesses. It’s an affordable option for small businesses whose budget maybe a little stretched.

ActiveCampaign has a variety of pricing plans across their products. If you pay yearly, the following monthly prices work out as:

 

LITE PLUS PROFESSIONAL ENTERPRISE
SENDING Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
EMAIL MARKETING Yes Yes Yes Yes
NEWSLETTERS Yes Yes Yes Yes
AUTOMATION Yes Yes Yes Yes
SUPPORT Chat & Email Chat & Email Chat & Email Chat, Email & Phone
USERS 3 25 50 Unlimited
BRANDING No Yes Yes Yes
SMS MARKETING No Yes Yes Yes
SITE MESSAGING No No Yes Yes
PREDICTIVE SENDING No No Yes Yes
CUSTOM REPORTING No No No Yes
CUSTOM DOMAIN No No No Yes
ONBOARDING No No No Yes
SOCIAL DATA No No No Yes
         
PRICE $9/mo $49/mo $129/mo $229/mo

 

ActiveCampaign doesn’t charge any setup fees and offers free migration from other software.

Pros:

  • Cost effective tool
  • Great for marketing automation
  • Lots of customisation options

Cons:

  • Interface and usability is a little outdated
  • Slow customer support

 

MailChimp alternative #2: ConvertKit

If your business sells products and services online, ConvertKit is a great email marketing solution. You can get your creative juices flowing by designing forms and emails.

ConvertKit don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They target eCommerce businesses and online creators. The software is very user-friendly, so even if you’re not feeling creative, you’ll be able to launch a successful email campaign.

 

 

ConvertKit is packed full of features. To decide whether or not this software would suit your business needs, let’s look at their features.

Customisable forms
Dashboard reporting
Automated workflows
Drag and drop sequence builder
Segment subscribers
Send broadcasts

ConvertKit has 4 pricing tiers. You can try all of them out for free before purchasing. If you choose to pay annually, you’ll get 12 months for the price of 10. Pricing is as follows:

 

0-1k SUBSCRIBERS 1-3K SUBSCRIBERS 3-5K SUBSCRIBERS 5K+ SUBSCRIBERS
VISUAL AUTOMATIONS Yes Yes Yes Yes
CUSTOMISABLE FORMS Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
EMAILS Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
REPORTING Yes Yes Yes Yes
INTEGRATIONS Yes Yes Yes Yes
API Yes Yes Yes Yes
SUPPORT Yes Yes Yes Yes
FREE MIGRATION Yes Yes Yes Yes
FREE CONCIERGE MIGRATION No No No Yes
 
PRICE $29/mo $49/mo $79/mo Subscriber Based

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Great design features
  • Automation options
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Too many features can be overwhelming
  • Could have more email templates

 

MailChimp alternative #3: iContact

iContact brings you a cloud based email marketing solution. The software is ideal for small and medium sized businesses to help design their campaigns.

I love iContact because it’s so easy to use. The drag and drop functionality makes managing email campaigns a doddle. If you’re considering iContact as your email solution software, take a look at some of their awesome features:

Marketing campaign designer
Segment customer lists
Subscriber management
Campaign performance tracker
Drag and drop interface
Contact management
List management

 

 

iContact offer their customers a 30-day free trial. The trial is limited to 100 email addresses but it’s a great opportunity to try the software out.

If you like iContact, their pricing starts from $14 per month. Unlike other pricing plans, iContact’s pricing is based around your email subscriber list size.

 

 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Email automation
  • Plenty of email templates

Cons:

  • Pricing is expensive compared to others
  • Phone based support is in the U.S.

 

MailChimp alternative #4: SendGrid

SendGrid is another cloud based email marketing solution. The software is recommended for any size business who send lots of newsletters via email.

With SendGrid, customers can design their own email campaigns alongside an email builder tool. This makes the process much easier and is reportedly a lot quicker than other software.

 

 

SendGrid is packed full of useful features, including:

SMTP API
Segment customers
Email builder tool
Flexible workflows
A/B test changes
Real time analytics

SendGrid has 4 different pricing tiers across 3 products (email API, marketing campaigns, or both). Their free plans are quite generous, supporting 40,000 emails for the first 30-days, then 100 emails a day forever.

Their Essentials plan starts from $14.95 per month and costs an addition $10 per month per 10,000 contacts. The Pro plan starts at $79.95 per month and is ideal for sending 100,000 to 1.5 million emails each month. If you want to send more than that, their Premier plan can be custom made to your needs.

 

FREE ESSENTIALS PRO PREMIER
APIS Yes Yes Yes Yes
DELIVERY OPTIMSATION Yes Yes Yes Yes
TEMPLATE EDITOR Yes Yes Yes Yes
ANALYTICS Yes Yes Yes Yes
SUPPORT Ticket Ticket, Chat & Phone Ticket, Chat & Phone Priority
EMAIL VALIDATION No No 2,500 5,000
DEDICATED IPS No No Yes Yes
SUBUSER MANAGEMENT No No Yes Yes
 
PRICE Free $14.95/mo $79.95/mo Custom

 

Pros:

  • Ideal for newsletters
  • Dedicated SMTP service
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Slow customer support
  • Pricing for 100k emails + is high in comparison

 

MailChimp alternative #5: Aweber

Aweber has been a market leader for some time. They are known for their extensive list of email templates and customisation options.

Aweber focuses solely on email marketing so you will need to take this into consideration. For small businesses, this may be the perfect tool to get started with. Features include:

A/B testing
Lots of templates for emails
Some basic email automation
Live customer support

 

 

Aweber offers 3 pricing plans which all offer the same features. The difference between them is the price and how you wish to pay it.

 

0-500 SUBSCRIBERS 501-2500 SUBSCRIBERS 2501-5000 SUBSCRIBERS 5001-10000 SUBSCRIBERS 10001-25000 SUBSCRIBERS 25000+ SUBSCRIBERS
EMAILS Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
AUTOMATION Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SEGMENTING Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ANALYTICS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SIGN UP FORMS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
INTEGRATIONS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IMAGE HOSTING Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
STOCK PHOTOS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 
PRICE $19/mo $29/mo $49/mo $69/mo $149/mo Custom

 

If you have more than 500 email subscribers these prices increase up to $149 per month for 25,000 subscribers.

Pros:

  • Visual campaign builder is very powerful
  • Ideal for small businesses
  • Different palettes with each template

Cons:

  • No hosting for landing pages
  • Lack of segmentation
  • Exit intent not possible
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