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When Mailchimp Isn’t the Champ: 12 Great Email Marketing Alternatives

Author

Jul 20, 2021

Inka Wibowo

mailchimp alternatives

There was once a time when Mailchimp was the first name that came to mind when you thought about email newsletter services. The tool was a breath of fresh air within the email marketing industry, with its affordable pricing model and ease of use a big hit with small-to-medium businesses, bloggers, online store owners, and other smaller-scale users.

But with the slightly confusing changes to their pricing model back in early 2019, coupled with Mailchimp’s shock decision to stop offering a direct integration with Shopify, more and more users are seeking alternatives to Mailchimp.

So if you’re one of those users, or would simply like to understand what other comparable tools are out there, read on to find out which Mailchimp alternative is right for you.

Try out ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, GetResponse, Sendinblue, Omnisend, Moosend


Smart Finder: Find the Best Option in 1 Minute

 


Why Use Mailchimp?

Is there any reason that you should stick with Mailchimp? Despite its recent less-than-ideal changes, moving away from Mailchimp might not be the best move if:

You need detailed reporting:

Mailchimp has one of the most detailed reporting systems for tracking your newsletters’ performance, offering robust options such as Google Analytics integration, Geotracking, Social media and click maps.

You have a very small list (and I mean really small!):

Mailchimp’s new pricing model imposes new limits on their free plan. Now, your 2000 contact limit includes all contacts, including unsubscribes and those who haven’t confirmed opt-in. If you know your total contact count will be less than this, then Mailchimp’s free plan is still pretty decent.

You want to easily design good looking emails:

Their editor is fast, simple and drag and drop. It’s very easy to create stunning emails that will stand out from the rest and engage your audience. They also have plenty of modern, well-designed templates (though be aware that the templates available for free are very limited and not very modern looking).

Who Should Look For Mailchimp Alternatives?

You are on a tight budget:

As soon as you leave the freemium plan, things start to add up at MailChimp, especially now that they charge based on total number of contacts, rather than just subscribed contacts. Working out how much your newsletter service will cost is not always straightforward. For instance, some will make you pay depending on the number of emails you send, others on your amount of subscribers. Luckily, we’ve created a handy cost calculator to help you get a clearer idea.

Cheaper alternatives: MailerLite, Sendinblue, Moosend, EngageBay or Mailjet

You need complex automations:

If you are really aiming to get the most from your email marketing campaigns, Mailchimp will appear slightly limited in terms of marketing automation features. Their autoresponders are ok, but for campaigns based on user behavior (e.g. on your website), split tests and advanced workflows, you might want to look elsewhere.

Better alternatives for automations: ActiveCampaign, GetResponse

You want to manage multiple mailing lists:

Because Mailchimp keeps every list isolated from each other, it limits the amount of flexibility, creativity and precision you can have for your complex campaigns. For example, if user X belongs to 2 of your mailing lists, they will appear as subscribers twice. There is no good way to merge lists or create interdependencies between them.

Better alternatives for multiple lists: ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, Omnisend

You want to set up dynamic landing pages and A/B test them:

Some email marketers do like to create special pages to send users once they click a certain link. These pages can offer tailored content and act as a powerful sales funnel or segmentation tool. Mailchimp's landing pages are a bit basic, not offering A/B testing or personalized, dynamic content.

Better alternatives for landing pages: GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, Omnisend

You need a robust yet affordable CRM software: 

Collecting subscribers is one thing, but managing clients, companies and deals is quite another. As you probably know, things can get messy quickly if you don’t have a good tool to help you manage these processes, and keeping all your marketing and sales contacts in one place will save you a ton of time. Though Mailchimp claims to offer CRM features, these just scratch the surface, and no pipeline management features are included.

Best alternatives for CRM software: EngageBay, ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, Zoho

You need strong data privacy:

Mailchimp isn't the most data protection-conscious company. For example, a short while back they suddenly announced that they are about to deactivate the double opt-in feature for all customers. After an outcry from (mainly) EU-based customers, they retracted the change. Customers from Europe also usually prefer to have their data stored inside an EU country, which Mailchimp doesn't offer.

Better alternatives: Sendinblue

An Overview of The Top Mailchimp Competitors

Criteria Ease of use Price Features
Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Full review

Very easy. The editor is perfect for beginners and the paid email templates look good. Paid plans start at  $30.99 per month Great for reports and amazing for ecommerce integration. Not so good for list management, and paid plans get pricey quickly.
activecampaign logo

ActiveCampaign

Full review

Fairly easy. Even if it seems more overwhelming, the support and wizards are very good. Paid plans start at $15 per month

Try for free

Very powerful automations. A/B tests, timed automations, CRM, landing page editor and much more. Good list management. The reporting is good, but not as powerful as Mailchimp’s.
MailerLite

MailerLite

Full review

Excellent editor – fast and logical. Good support too. Paid plans start at $15 per month

Try for free

They offer automations, a landing page builder and reporting – not as powerful as other solutions, but available for free and/or much cheaper.
Sendinblue review

Sendinblue

Full review

Easy to navigate software that guides you through the production flow. Paid plans start at $25 per month

Try for free

Pretty good automations and list management. Very affordable prices. Reporting and analytics aren’t as good as Mailchimp’s.
Opiniones sobre GetResponse

GetResponse

Full review

Very easy to use. Their knowledge base is a bit confusing though. Paid plans start at $15 per month

Try for free

Powerful email automations and list management. Interesting extras such as a mobile app, landing page builder and webinar creator. Not so good for analytics and reports.
moosend

Moosend

Fairly straightforward to use. Live chat support available within the editor. Paid plans start at $10 per month

Try for free

Pretty good allowances on their free plan. Very affordable pay-as-you-go-plan. Deliverability isn't as good as Mailchimp’s.
engagebay logoEngageBay The interface is well-designed, making it a very easy-to-use tool. Paid plans start from $12.99/month

Try for free

Generous free plan and affordable paid plans. Excellent email marketing and CRM features.
omnisend

Omnisend

Full review

Their interface is simple, and they have a fresh and speedy email editor that’s similar to MailChimp’s. Paid plans start at $13 per month

Try for free

Automations specific to ecommerce – web tracking, abandoned cart, order confirmations, etc. Plus, some cool interactive features like scratch cards and gift boxes for maximizing conversions.
zoho

Zoho

Pretty easy to use. Live chat support available within the editor. Paid plans start at $5 per month

Try for free

Generous free plan. Advanced automations and segemntation.
mailjet

Mailjet

Full review

Setting up newsletters and contact lists is easy to do! Paid plans start at $9.65 per month Affordable prices and excellent deliverability. Basic automations.
ConvertKit logo

ConvertKit

Full review

Automations are easier to use than average. Other features, like creating forms, can be overcomplicated. Paid plans start at $29 per month

Try for free

Good automations and list management functionalities. Newsletter and landing page design and reporting should be improved.
Programa de email marketing: benchmark

Benchmark

Full review

Very good editor and outstanding support. Paid plans start at $15 per month

Try for free

Good for multi-languages. Not great for automations, and the file storage charges are an extra worry. Poor deliverability.
aweber logo

AWeber

Full review

Some sections are a little hidden, and you'll need to make sure you're in the right list at all times. Their terminology could be confusing for experienced users. Paid plans start at $19 per month

Try for free

Very good support and list management features. Sales tracking available for your site.

The Best Mailchimp Alternatives

After all our tests we believe that the following are the best Mailchimp competitors. Keep scrolling for a detailed breakdown.

  1. ActiveCampaign – Better email automation
  2. MailerLite – Same quality but cheaper
  3. Sendinblue – Better automation and cheaper
  4. GetResponse – More features
  5. Moosend – Generous on features and emails
  6. EngageBay – Excellent CRM features
  7. Omnisend – Ideal for ecommerce
  8. Zoho – Myriad of automations
  9. Mailjet – Excellent deliverability
  10. ConvertKit – Better targeting
  11. Benchmark – Multilingual teams
  12. AWeber – Better support

ActiveCampaign

This self-described “all-in-one marketing platform” is focused on letting you reach your email marketing goals with fewer emails. To that end, they offer one of the best marketing automation features we’ve ever tested. You can easily create very complex sequences of emails and add a huge number of parameters such as “wait x number of days before sending”, “split test between two messages” and much more. The fact that all plans come with unlimited emails is pretty attractive, too.

  • Where ActiveCampaign beats Mailchimp: In terms of email sequences automation, ActiveCampaign is unbeatable. Whether you want to tag users based on behavior, run A/B tests or create complex timed automations, they have you covered. Their CRM system is robust, and they are often launching interesting features such as live chat for your website, and “site messages”, which lets you create personalised content on your website/landing pages when users arrive there from your emails. List management, which Mailchimp isn’t great at, is also a strong suit, as you can set up commplex segmentation automations. Finally, they also end up cheaper than Mailchimp, and the customer support is excellent.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer a free plan. Mailchimp’s template editor is smoother and their ecommerce tracking is more robust (ActiveCampaign offers purchase tracking only for Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce).

Try ActiveCampaign for free

MailerLite

This relatively young Lithuanian email marketing solution prides itself on its modern and sleek aesthetic – and it shows. They also offer good multilingual options as well as a decent “Free Forever” plan. If you're looking for awesome email and landing page designs, MailerLite really shines in this area.

  • Where MailerLite beats Mailchimp: The free plan, which is limited to 1,000 subscribers, lets you use most features, which includes a landing page editor that, in our opinion, is better than Mailchimp’s. Their paid plans are also significantly cheaper, making them a great choice for small businesses on a tight marketing budget. If you want to work in your native tongue, they offer 5 languages. They also have an app for iOS, and a website builder. It is a great free Mailchimp competitor.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: MailerLite falls short when it comes to its reporting (very basic) and tracking tools (no geo or social tracking), which makes it less than ideal for optimizing your campaigns.

Try MailerLite for free

Sendinblue

A relatively new player on the newsletter scene, Sendinblue is a Paris-based company who have decided to make waves by offering some of the cheapest plans available. And they’re also surprisingly good when it comes to email automations and list management. Check out our detailed Sendinblue vs MailChimp comparison to find out more about why Sendinblue is a great MailChimp alternative.

  • Where Sendinblue beats Mailchimp: Sendinblue is cheaper than MailChimp. Their automation system is a little more advanced, allowing you to A/B test a number of components. EU-based customers will love the fact that their servers are located in France. You can also send SMS at a very reasonable price – a feature not available with Mailchimp. Transactional emails are their strong suite, consistently performing well in our deliverability tests.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: Mailchimp is still more intuitive and easier to use for beginners, and the Sendinblue system can be a little slow. Mailchimp's template editor also beats Sendinblue’s, and not many companies can beat their social media tracking for accurate reports.

Try Sendinblue for free

GetResponse

Also a very good solution when it comes to automations, GetResponse offers a wide range of unique pro features such as a landing page creator and a webinar tool. They also claim to be one of the easiest newsletter tools available, and give you loads of extra tidbits like access to free iStock photo images and an iOS and Android app to send your campaigns on the go. Is it enough to choose them over Mailchimp?

  • Where GetResponse beats Mailchimp: Email marketing automations are very powerful, letting you trigger sale conditions, A/B tests and removal conditions, amongst other things. You can easily move subscribers between lists. If you’re an international team, you will appreciate the 25 languages available in the interface. If you want the ability to create webinars, you’ll find it hard to do it with many platforms other than GetResponse. The Convervion funnel feature is unique to GetResponse, which facilitates setting up sales funnels.  Their multimedia center, which lets you access stock photos and generate QR codes, amongst others, is also a nice extra.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: GetResponse’s analytics isn’t as powerful as Mailchimp’s, as it lacks heatmaps. Also no free plan. Additionally, GetResponse limits the amount of files (e.g. images) that you can store in their media center to 1 GB, while Mailchimp doesn’t. Check out our GetResponse vs Mailchimp guide for more information.

Try GetResponse for free

Moosend

Moosend caught our eye for their generous Free Forever plan, which includes access to almost all their pro features. They also include a good selection of responsive templates and advanced segmentation. Like Mailchimp, you can pay as you go, but Moosend will cost you significantly less.

moosend

  • Where Moosend beats Mailchimp: Though Moosend’s free plan limits you to 1,000 subscribers, you can send unlimited emails and it allows you access to their visually appealing automation workflow editor. All emails are add-free and you’ll find their paid plans to be pretty affordable – at $55/month for 10,000 subscribers they are significantly cheaper than Mailchimp. Charging just $0.001 per email on their pay as you go plan, you’ll pay a fraction of what you would on Mailchimp’s equivalent plan. Advanced segmentation is available in the free plan and landing pages are unlocked once you move up to a paid plan.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: Moosend’s deliverability could do with some improvement, and we would recommend keeping a close eye on campaign performance rates. When it comes to native integrations, Mailchimp offers a bit more than Moosend.

Try Moosend for free!

EngageBay

Although a relatively new product in the marketing automation niche, EngageBay has quickly grown in popularity as one of the most affordable all-in-one CRM software.

EngageBay offers a myriad of tools for email marketing, email and workflow automation, customer service management and social media management. To our surprise, EngageBay's free plan is loaded with features that other platforms offer only with paid plans, which gives us good reason to see just how it compares against Mailchimp.

EngageBay

Where EngageBay beats Mailchimp:

Mailchimp gets pretty expensive fast.

Their sliding scale pricing structure can look affordable at first. But as your contacts start growing, so will the price you pay.

For example, EngageBay’s Marketing Bay offers 30,000 contacts at $49.99.

To get the same number of contacts on Mailchimp, you have to pay a crazy $219! If you want all the pro features, you have to purchase the Premium plan. The cost? A whopping $499 a month!

What’s more, Mailchimp doesn’t even reward its loyal customers by applying a discount to yearly plans, whereas EngageBay offers a 20% discount on annual subscriptions and a 40% discount on biennial subscriptions. This brings the already affordable costs even further down.

Plus, EngageBay's free plan comes with email and chat support, which a lack of is a real disadvantage to using Mailchimp.

In terms of the CRM features, you’ll have a separate dashboard for marketing, sales and service, which keeps everything manageable. You’ll also have an area for ‘deals’, which is great for small businesses who want to keep everything under one roof. Mailchimp doesn’t offer pipeline management or much in the way of CRM features.

If you need a robust and affordable all-in-one marketing tool, then we’d recommend EngageBay.

Where Mailchimp wins:

Mailchimp has a dedicated desktop application for both Windows and Mac. It offers search marketing (SEO and PPC with Facebook, Google and Instagram), which EngageBay doesn't.

You can also set up single-step automations with Mailchimp’s free plan, whereas EngageBay reserves marketing automation for those who sign up to the Growth plan (which starts at $24.99/month).

Try EngageBay for free

Omnisend

Omnisend email marketing service

Omnisend is an email and SMS platform with a strong slant towards ecommerce – something that shines through in their conversion-focused automation and segmentation options. And while MailChimp does a decent job of ecommerce, there are some clever little extras that we think give Omnisend the one up here.

Omnisend integrates really well with Shopify. You can also use it with BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Volusion, PrestaShop and Magento.

  • Where Omnisend beats Mailchimp: Like MailChimp, Omnisend offers stacks of automations for online stores, including browse abandonment and cart recovery (these are editable through visual workflows). But it goes a step further with unique features like ‘wheel of fortune’ incentives for sign-ups, interactive gift boxes, automated product recommendations, and even ‘live view’ website tracking – all of which are designed to boost conversions. You can also segment your lists based on very granular data, including customers who purchased a specific product or used a discount code. Another point in Omnisend’s favour – it also includes some very modern landing page templates.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: Outside of ecommerce, MailChimp is probably the more versatile tool, offering more options for email templates and automation. MailChimp also includes automation and segmentation in its free plan, while Omnisend doesn’t. See how Omnisend compares to Mailchimp in this side-by-side comparison.

Try Omnisend for free

Zoho Campaigns

Zoho offers an impressive suite of services, which of course includes email marketing. Considering how much ground they cover and the fact that they offer a free plan makes them a great Mailchimp alternative.

zoho campaigns - free email service

Where Zoho beats Mailchimp: A cool feature from Zoho is that you can upload images from Unsplash directly in the editor. We also liked their range of email and form templates.

Zoho excels in the area of automation; they offer workflows for nurturing, ecommerce, re-engagement, etc. What’s more, because Zoho comes with powerful CRM software, you can set up workflows to help you move leads through your sales funnel.

Segmentation and list management is a simple affair, with plenty of segmentation options.

Where Mailchimp wins:

Though Zoho has a fair amount, Mailchimp still beats them when it comes to native integrations. Mailchimp is still a slightly more intuitive tool for beginners.

Try Zoho Campaigns for free!

Mailjet

Mailjet vs Mailchimp

Mailjet, a French email service provider, is one of the more affordable newsletter software providers on the market, making it a great Mailchimp alternative!

A neat feature is that the newsletter editor allows you to collaborate with other team members in real-time. This can make the design process much more agile and hopefully leads to a better campaign (so long as it doesn’t become a too many cooks situation).

Where Mailjet beats Mailchimp:

Making sure your emails are delivered to your subscribers is crucial, and Mailjet definitely has an edge over Mailchimp in this area. Our recent deliverability tests show that Mailjet takes this very seriously, keeping their scores up in the mid-nineties.

Another big plus for Mailjet is the price. Aside from offering a free plan with up to 200 emails per day and no contact limit, their paid plans are also some of the most affordable on the market. Mailjet’s Premium plan ($20.95/month) allows you to send up to 30,000 emails/month to unlimited contacts and benefit from all features, whereas Mailchimp’s Essentials plan (which has more or less the same features) will give you a limit of 1,500 contacts for roughly the same price ($20.99). See how Mailchimp and Mailjet compare in this side-by-side table.

Where Mailchimp wins:

It’s not necessarily where Mailchimp wins, but more where Mailjet slightly disappoints: the automations. These are limited to date-based and contact field conditions and are missing more behavioral triggers such as ‘has opened X email’ or ‘has clicked X link’. Of course, if you’re serious about automations then I’d recommend ActiveCampaign or GetResponse.

Try Mailjet for free

ConvertKit

Designed with digital marketers in mind, they are the new kid on the block. ConvertKit claims to be all about transparency and they even make their financial situation available to everyone online. Since they first started in 2013, they’ve managed to get more than 35.000 subscribers. Which is not bad. Generally speaking, Mailchimp is a more mature and developed tool, but let’s check this in more detail.

  • Where ConvertKit beats Mailchimp: Managing lists and contacts is more flexible, allowing you to create better-targeted campaigns. Their landinding page tool works well, and the fact that you can create unlimited pages and use a custom domain name even on the free plan is a big plus.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: ConvertKit only recently started offering a free plan. This limits you to 1,000 subscribers – Mailchimp's is more generous. Mailchimp's editor is also really flexible – ConvertKit’s doesn’t even compare. With Mailchimp, you can have several team members, unfortunately, this is not available with ConvertKit. Reporting is also something Mailchimp does very well.

Try ConvertKit for free

Benchmark

Focusing on international markets with a presence in 15 countries around the world, Benchmark’s paying plans place them in the middle to higher end of other email marketing solutions. Unfortunately, their advanced features aren’t as impressive as others, but they are worth considering for their free and low price plans.

  • Where Benchmark beats Mailchimp: They are a much better choice for multilingual teams. They also offer good support.
  • Where Mailchimp wins: As soon as you look at advanced features like reporting and automation, Benchmark ranks lower on our list. They also give you very limited amounts of image data storage – which is unlimited with Mailchimp. With a limit of only 250 emails/month, Benchmark's free plan doesn't compare to Mailchimp's, which is far more generous. See how Benchmark stacks up against Mailchimp in this side-by-side comparison.

Try Benchmark for free

AWeber

AWeber has been on the email marketing scene for over 20 years, just a few years more than Mailchimp. However, it was only recently that AWeber updated its service, which now includes a freemium plan.

The free plan, though it includes the same features as the paid plan, limits you to just 500 subscribers, which isn’t many at all, though you’ll be able to send them up to 3,000 emails/month – that’s 6 emails per subscriber per month.

Features include A/B testing, email analytics and conversion tracking. They also have various mobile apps, so you can send emails on-the-go.

Where AWeber beats Mailchimp: AWeber’s list management features help you keep your contacts organized. You can use their automations to automatically manage subscribers via the rules you create. They also have decent support and educational tools.

Where Mailchimp wins: Mailchimp’s Freemium plan is much more generous than AWeber’s. However, once you get over 10,000 subscribers Mailchimp becomes slightly more expensive than AWeber. We’d recommend you check out MailerLite or Sendinblue for a cheaper Mailchimp alternative. See how AWeber compares to Mailchimp in this side-by-side comparison.

Try AWeber for free

Mailchimp Alternatives: Conclusion

While Mailchimp was once the #1 choice when it came to a cost-effective email marketing service, a few recent pricing changes have made it a lot less affordable than it was once. There are competitors (even free ones) that will work perfectly for you depending on your needs.

To summarize, we would recommend sticking with Mailchimp if you have a decent marketing budget and want to convert it into sales for your ecommerce (unless, of course, you're using Shopify). For users with small subscriber numbers who just want a simple and free solution, they are also one of the better platforms. Your newsletters will look good, as long as you don’t mind the Mailchimp logo in the footer, which could make them look slightly less professional.

However, if you’re a power user, you should really look to ActiveCampaign or GetResponse if you want to create complex automations that react to the way your subscribers behave. And if you want quality features with a smaller price tag, it’s worth investigating other companies such as MailerLite or Sendinblue.

Finally, if you also need a CRM, ActiveCampaign and Zoho are good options.

Hopefully, this overview has helped you save time in choosing your next solution! And don’t forget to add comments or questions if you need any more information.

 

P.S. We also have a detailed comparison of Mailchimp & ConstantContact that you may want to check out.

 

Update:

20 Jul 2021 – General update & Moved Omnisend up
21 Jun 2021 – Added EngageBay
20 May 2021 – General update
11 May 2021 – Table edited
4 May 2021 – General update
15 Feb 2021 – Added Zoho
14 Nov 2020 – Added AWeber
8 Sept 2020 – Added Mailjet and removed Newsletter2Go
28 Apr 2020 – Added updated MailerLite video
22 Apr 2020 – Changes to Benchmark's free plan & pricing
9 Mar 2020 – Added Smart finder
17 Feb 2020 – Moved Sendinblue up in light of excellent deliverability
27 Nov 2019 – Added Mailchimp alternatives video
23 Oct 2019 – Added Moosend to list
21 May 2019 – Updated information about Mailchimp's new pricing structure
15 May 2019 – Update about Mailchimp's Shopify integration
20 Sep 2018 – Added Omnisend to list