Permissions & Deliverability

Mailchimp Deliverability in 2024: How Are They Performing?

Charlotte EvansInka Wibowo

By Charlotte & Inka

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Mailchimp deliverability

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Email marketing is a vital tool to engage with your audience effectively. And although a lot of thought is put into which is the right provider for you, one thing that is often overlooked is the email deliverability rate of your chosen email marketing provider. This topic is becoming increasingly important, especially due to recent changes with key providers such as Gmail and Yahoo.

To help you get your head around email deliverability and its importance, we will provide you with a clear understanding of what makes a good email deliverability rate and the key factors that affect this, taking a close look at Mailchimp’s deliverability. All of the information provided in this article are key takeaways from our bi-annual email deliverability tests.

The Importance of Email Deliverability

Email deliverability has a significant influence on whether your emails reach recipients' inboxes or whether they get lost along the way, ending up in junk or spam folders. While email marketers are well-versed in best practices for maintaining high deliverability rates, there's no guarantee that even meticulously crafted emails will avoid spam folders. This inconsistency is one reason why we continue to conduct bi-annual tests to measure the deliverability rates of top email marketing services, revealing surprising fluctuations from round to round.

Our Email Deliverability Test Insights:

Our bi-annual email deliverability tests display insightful variations in deliverability rates among different email marketing service providers. The tests, which take place over various rounds, allow us to determine the average deliverability rates of popular providers, including a key player in the email marketing world, MailChimp.

While some email marketing providers performed well, others struggled to maintain consistent deliverability, achieving pretty different scores between rounds. So, let’s take a look at how well Mailchimp has performed.

MailChimp Deliverability Rate:

We included Mailchimp in our deliverability tests from the beginning, back in 2017. We’ve just completed our twelfth round of deliverability tests, testing around 15 top email providers each round.

From the data we’ve gathered over the years, Mailchimp's deliverability rate has fluctuated from 81.6% (in 2019 and 2020) to an attractive 95.5% (back in June 2023). They tend to score between the mid-80s and 90s, offering what we consider to be generally high rates of deliverability.

Mailchimp’s average deliverability rate of the last three rounds was 91.18%, which is classed as an “excellent” deliverability rate according to our studies.

PROVIDER AUG 2017 % MAR 2018 % JAN 2019 % JULY 2019 % FEB 2020 % SEPT 2020 % MAR 2021 % OCT 2021 % APR 2022 % JAN 2023 % JUNE 2023 % JAN 2024 %
Mailchimp 87.5 82.6 81.6 90.6 81.6 91 86.9 85.2 85.9 92.7 95.5 89.5

Mailchimp Email Deliverability

Here's a summary of how Mailchimp has performed in our email deliverability tests to major ISPs (Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL) over the past few years.

Deliverability to Gmail:

Since our first testing round in 2017, Mailchimp has consistently shown high deliverability rates to Gmail mailboxes, scoring 100% deliverability to Gmail in most rounds. The only exception was in February 2020 when this dropped to 69%, although this was a trend reflected in all the providers we tested that round.

See further below for an analysis of Mailchimp’s placement rates in Gmail’s Primary tab vs Promotions tab.

Deliverability to Microsoft (Outlook and Hotmail):

Mailchimp's deliverability rates to Outlook and Hotmail have shown some fluctuations over the years, reaching as low as 24% in March 2018. However, in our most recent round, they managed to deliver 100% of their emails to Microsoft.

Deliverability to Yahoo:

Mailchimp's deliverability rate to Yahoo has consistently been strong, reaching 100% in multiple testing rounds, including our latest round in January.

Deliverability to AOL:

Similarly, Mailchimp's deliverability rates to AOL tend to be robust, consistently achieving 100%.

Does Mailchimp have a higher chance of landing in Gmail’s Promotions tab?

In the past, there were a lot of queries about why Mailchimp’s emails often ended up in Gmail’s Promotions folder. Looking back at previous results, we can see clear fluctuations in these rates, which were particularly bad during the years 2017 to 2019 when all emails were consistently placed in the Promotions folder.

Proportion of Gmail-delivered emails that ended up in Primary inbox

Provider Aug 2017 % Mar 2018 % Jan 2019 % July 2019 % Feb 2020 % Sep 2020 % Mar 2021 % Oct 2021 % April 2022 % Jan 2023 % June 2023 % Jan 2024 %
Mailchimp 0 0 40 75 69 40 40 40 42 58 75 100

However, it seems that recently the percentage of Mailchimp emails finding their way to Promotions is similar to other email marketing providers.

Google's inbox sorting algorithm decides where your emails end up in terms of Google tabs, and it's safe to say it's pretty mysterious. It's not clear why some email providers end up in the Promotions tab while others go straight to the Primary inbox.

Although being categorized in Promotions isn’t exactly ideal, there is no doubt that it's better than your email ending up in the spam folder. The downside is the potential for your email to be lost amongst other promotional emails in that tab. However, it may not be a significant issue if your content is genuinely promotional and your subscribers are used to finding your emails in that tab.

Interpreting Deliverability Data:

These test results offer valuable insights into the performance of various email marketing service providers. Providers like Mailchimp consistently demonstrated strong deliverability, while others like Benchmark struggled to reach Gmail inboxes, often redirecting emails to spam or going missing.

ActiveCampaign vs. MailChimp Deliverability Rates:

In our recent deliverability test, ActiveCampaign emerged as a star performer taking the winning spot with an average deliverability of 94.2%. MailChimp came seventh with a rate of 89.5%, with an average of 92.6% over the last three rounds. Although they didn’t achieve their highest rate in this round, their high three-round average puts them within the top 3 of top-performing tools when it comes to deliverability.

Dedicated IP Address

Mailchimp sends emails from a shared IP address by default which means sharing the same IP as multiple Mailchimp users. A lot of businesses use a shared IP address as it is the cheapest option with email providers. Although you do save money with this option, the downside is that your sender reputation can be influenced by the other senders using that same IP address.

In an ideal world, all of the senders on your shared IP would be following the best email marketing practices such as good email list hygiene and more. However, unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the other users on this shared IP address and their email marketing habits.

Therefore, to avoid being negatively affected by other users on a shared IP address, you do have the option to set up a dedicated IP address, however, this is only advisable for very high-volume senders (+100,000 emails per month). This gives you full control over what is sent from your IP address, which means you have more control over your sender's reputation. With most providers this type of service is available at an extra cost and with Mailchimp specifically it is available as an add-on, for $29.95 a month.

Mailchimp Deliverability Features:

Authentication

Mailchimp offers three essential authentication protocols for every email you send, all at no extra cost (yay – that's what we like to hear):

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

This adds a digital signature to your emails, verifying the sender's authenticity and safeguarding the content from tampering during transit.

SenderID

SenderID validates the sender's domain, ensuring that the sending server is authorized to send emails on behalf of that domain.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF prevents email spoofing by allowing domain owners to specify authorized mail servers.

List management

Mailchimp offers a range of features for list segmentation and personalization, allowing you to customize content that aligns with the preferences of each subscriber. It also allows you to exclude contacts who may not be actively engaged, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of your campaigns. Furthermore, you have the option to set a frequency cap for users, preventing any individual subscriber from receiving an excessive number of emails.

Testing

Mailchimp’s A/B testing functionality is designed to help you refine your email content, experimenting with subject lines, sender names, and send times for maximum user engagement.

Reporting

Mailchimp offers advanced reporting and monitoring features that empower Mailchimp users to effectively evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns. With these features, they can improve their email deliverability with Mailchimp by using this data to make data-driven results.

Omnivore

Mailchimp use Omnivore, a technology designed to detect abuse, helping to maintain sender reputation and identify potential issues before email campaigns are sent out.

Watch our Email Deliverability Best Practices video:

Email Deliverability Best Practices

Mailchimp Deliverability Rate: An Overview

Over the years, doubts have lingered about Mailchimp's email deliverability despite its popularity within the email marketing world. However, in our deliverability tests, Mailchimp has demonstrated a generally solid performance, ensuring a large volume of emails reach recipients, particularly on platforms like Yahoo and AOL.

Unlike competitors like HubSpot, Mailchimp has shown improved success in bypassing Gmail's Promotions tab and reaching Microsoft inboxes, minimizing the risk of emails getting lost.

It's crucial to recognize that email deliverability rates vary over time and across diverse testing methods. The insights we have shared demonstrate Mailchimp's performance over multiple testing rounds. We hope this information can help you decide whether Mailchimp is right for you. However, it's important to remember that you might experience different results influenced by factors such as email list quality, email content, engagement levels, and your overall sender reputation.

Try Mailchimp for free

The authors

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Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

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We keep our content up to date

07 May 2024 - Small update about Omnivore
27 March 2024 - Updated url

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This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

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