Email Marketing Tools

MailerLite vs Mailchimp Why One Is Miles Ahead of the Other in 2024

Roberta PhillipsCharlotte Evans

By Roberta & Charlotte

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mailerlite vs mailchimp

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There’s no denying that Mailchimp is more widely known than MailerLite. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it's a better option for your email marketing strategy.

If you’re reading this article, you’ve either tried Mailchimp and are not fully satisfied or you’ve heard good things about MailerLite and want to see how it compares to other popular email marketing tools like Mailchimp.

I, myself, have been using Mailchimp for years. Well, its monkey-credit referral program kind of locked us in with them. But, if there wasn’t this monkey business going on, one of the first alternatives I would check would indeed be Mailerlite.

In this MailerLite vs Mailchimp comparison, I’m going to analyze each tool in detail, looking at how easy it is to use, what pro features it comes with, how pricey it is, and more.

best esp comparison template

MailerLite vs Mailchimp: Summary

  • Both MailerLite and Mailchimp are good options for beginners.
  • If you’re looking for the most affordable option, then MailerLite is the tool to go for. It’s higher tier plans remain pretty fair at $73/month for 10,000 subscribers compared to Mailchimp’s $110.
  • Both offer a freemium plan, however, Mailchimp's is very limited, with much lower allowances than MailerLite (find out more here)
  • Mailchimp's reporting is superior to MailerLite's due to social and conversion tracking

MailerLite vs Mailchimp: Video Review

mailerlite vs mailchimp review video

Ease of Use And Editor

Mailchimp markets itself as a very easy to use email marketing software. But, guess what? So does MailerLite. So which one is simpler?

Well, I have to say that MailerLite is slightly more user friendly. One of the issues with Mailchimp is that some functions are sometimes hard to find; for instance, adding opt-in for new sign-ups could still be slightly more intuitive for complete beginners. Also, my impression is that interface updates don’t necessarily make things easier with Mailchimp.

That said, both have well-designed backends that are easy to navigate, and they do a good job of making sure you’ve completed all the necessary steps when setting up a new campaign.

Brevo vs Mailchimp - editor MC

Mailchimp email campaign set-up

mailerlite email campaign

MailerLite email campaign set-up

Winner: Overall, both tools have fairly shallow learning curves, however, MailerLite has a better designed interface, which makes it a great tool for all levels. The first round goes to MailerLite! 1-0.

Design And Flexibility

When selecting an email marketing service, it’s important to check out the email templates and design options it offers. Of course, you want them to be attractive, mobile responsive and have the ability to be easily customized.

Mailchimp has more than 100 templates (or ‘themes’, as they call them), which are mobile responsive and not bad looking. These can be sorted by category, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. They are easily editable and can be saved so that you can re-use them in future campaigns. You can also create your own HTML templates via code, URL or .ZIP file.

The only thing to note is that the free plan only comes with 8 templates.

Brevo vs Mailchimp - templates MC

Mailchimp email templates

Personally, I prefer MailerLite’s designs. Though there aren’t quite as many of them (62), the mobile responsive templates look really professional and modern-looking. Adapting them is easy, as there are tons of content blocks to choose from and sufficient customization options. You can also sort them by industry.

mailerlite email templates

MailerLite email templates

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the gallery, then you can upload your own HTML code via a .ZIP file or URL.

The only thing to note is that email designs are not included on the free plan, instead, you’ll just have the basic templates to work with.

Winner: Due to the fact that both offer a good selection of email templates and editing options, I’m giving them each a point this round. 2-1 to MailerLite.

List Management

One thing Mailchimp users have a real issue with is list management.

Mailchimp’s lists are mutually exclusive, which means that you can’t include contacts on different lists in the same campaigns. There is also no way to create automations to move subscribers from one list to another, for example, as there is with MailerLite.

As Mailchimp charges per subscriber, it means that if you have the same contact on different lists, you’ll be paying for them multiple times. This is very off-putting as it could really push the cost up.

What’s more, Mailchimp has made it all quite complex with its various options and naming conventions; you have audiences (contact lists), segments, tags and groups. This can get pretty confusing.

Brevo vs Mailchimp - lists MC

Mailchimp list management

List management is much simpler with MailerLite.

Segmentation is facilitated by a wide variety of variables, and, as I’ve mentioned, you can set up an automation to remove subscribers from a particular group when they join another, for example.

Regardless of how many groups or segments a subscriber belongs to, it’ll only ever be counted as one subscriber.

Winner: MailerLite clearly wins this round! 3-1 to MailerLite.

Email Automations

Mailchimp has a wide range of automation triggers, including goals/email link actions and abandoned cart templates. There’s one catch though: automations aren’t available in the Free plan. You’ll need to be on the Essentials plan or higher to set them up.

mailchimp automation editor

Mailchimp workflow automation

Though MailerLite doesn’t have nearly as many options as Mailchimp, it is very easy to use. You can create workflows based on campaign actions, such as opens and links clicked, or conditions based on custom fields and segments. What it’s missing are more advanced ecommerce based triggers.

MailerLite automation

MailerLite workflow automation

The good thing about MailerLite is that users can start using the multi-step automation builder on the free plan.

Winner: Due to the fact that MailerLite’s automation software is easy to use and free means that it takes the point for this round. 4-1.

Registration Forms

Let’s see how easy it is to set up a form with Mailchimp and MailerLite.

First of all, it’s not that easy to know where to go in order to create a registration form in Mailchimp as it doesn’t appear in the main navigation. Instead, it’s hidden under the ‘Audience’ tab.

In terms of options, you can create an embedded form, pop-up form or landing page, however, it’s slightly fiddly to set up and not all forms appear to be mobile responsive.

Brevo vs Mailchimp - registration form MC

Mailchimp form builder

When new subscribers sign up, they’ll be put on the list (or audience) you choose, though they can only be on one if you want to avoid being charged again.

Creating a form with MailerLite is a much simpler affair. Several types of forms are available, including pop-up and embedded forms and subscribe buttons. You can also create a landing page in this section.

MailerLite forms

MailerLite form builder

Winner: I’m giving this one to MailerLite. 5-1.

CRM

Mailchimp’s CRM capabilities are limited, but it certainly does better than MailerLite in this area. One thing Mailchimp does well is ecommerce data; if your account is connected to your online store, you can see how much revenue each contact has generated.

Brevo vs Mailchimp - crm MC

Mailchimp CRM customer profile

That said, it’s missing some key CRM options like the ability to upload a file, create a task or assign contacts to specific sales agents. If you’re in need of a CRM, you’d be better off checking out this post on the best CRM software for small businesses.

Winner: With MailerLite out of the race for this round, Mailchimp takes the point! 5-2.

Spam And Design Testing

Both tools allow you to test how your email will look on mobile and desktop, however, that’s as far as MailerLite goes. With Mailchimp, you can also test how your email will look on various email clients, though this isn’t strictly free.

Mailchimp monthly paid plans come with 25 Inbox Preview tokens to use every month. Each individual client you test will use one token and unused tokens are not carried over to the following month. You can, of course, purchase more tokens if you run out.

Mailchimp also provides a link checker, which is very useful.

Winner: A clear win for Mailchimp, taking the scores to 5-3. Will Mailchimp be able to catch up?

Reporting

MailerLite offers stats for opens, clicks, unsubscribes, devices, etc., plus purchase tracking for Shopify and WooCommerce. What it’s missing are social media and email client statistics. Mailchimp’s reports include these stats, plus, it offers a direct integration with Google Analytics to help track conversions.

mailchimp reports

Mailchimp reports

Winner: Due to Mailchimp’s extensive reporting capabilities, this round goes to them, taking the scores to 5-4.

Deliverability

It’s imperative that the email tool you select has good deliverability, otherwise all your efforts leading up to sending your campaign will have been for nothing.

We’ve been tracking the deliverability of the providers we review for a number of years.

Here are the average figures of how they performed in our last 3 rounds of bi-annual deliverability tests:

MAILCHIMP MAILERLITE
Overall Deliverability Rate 92.6% 92.7%

Overall, MailerLite does better than Mailchimp, winning first place in a number of our tests.

Winner: MailerLite secures the point for this round! 6-4 to MailerLite.

Integrations And Extras

Mailchimp, being as well known as it is, integrates with hundreds of tools. You should be able to connect just about every tool you need, except for Shopify, strangely.

MailerLite also offers tons of direct integrations.

Winner: As both providers do well in this area, I’m going to give a point to each. 7-5.

Support

Both providers have similar support channels available (knowledge base, email, live chat), however, whether you can access these channels depends on the plan you’re on. In MailerLite’s case, you’ll have access to support on both the paid and free plan, but you’ll only have access to live chat support on the paid plan.

Mailchimp is a little less generous. On the free plan, you’ll only have email support for the first 30 days and then you’re on your own. If you want access to email and chat support then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

MailerLite was very responsive and helpful when I contacted them via live chat – an agent responded within 2 minutes of submitting my query. In order to access Mailchimp’s live chat, you have to go through its knowledge base first and even then I wasn’t able to start a chat due to the absence of a button. The only option I had was to cancel the query – very frustrating!

mailchimp support

Winner: Due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to get in touch with Mailchimp if you’re on its free plan, we’re giving MailerLite the point here. 8-5.

Prices

So, we arrive at the final round: pricing.

Although Mailchimp offers a freemium and pay as you go plan, the fact that it now charges users for unsubscribed contacts and those who haven’t confirmed opt-in can make this provider quite expensive. For this reason, I’d recommend MailerLite over Mailchimp for small businesses.

Compared to other email marketing tools, Mailchimp is not the most expensive, but when matched against MailerLite, Mailchimp comes out pretty steep.

Let’s take a look at their lowest-level plans to compare:

MAILCHIMP (ESSENTIALS) MAILERLITE (GROWING BUSINESS)
Free plan 500 contacts and 1000 emails per month 1,000 contacts for free and 12,000 emails/month
5,000 subscribers $75
50,000 emails
$39
Unlimited emails
10,000 subscribers $110
100,000 emails
$73
Unlimited emails
50,000 subscribers $385
500,000 emails
$289
Unlimited emails
100,000 subscribers $800
1,200,000 emails
(Standard plan)
$440
Unlimited emails

You’ll see there is quite a difference between the two providers in price.

It’s worth noting that MailerLite’s free plan allows for unlimited lists and includes email A/B testing and basic email support. It’s also a plus that its paid plans let you send unlimited emails.

Mailchimp's free plan has become less and less attractive in recent years since they removed automations and email scheduling from the feature list and brought the sending allowance right down.

Winner: MailerLite takes the point here due to its very affordable prices and generous freemium plan.

This means we have a winner… MailerLite! The final score is 9-5.

MailerLite vs Mailchimp: Detailed Features Comparison (Table)

MailerLite Logo

4.4

Mailchimp

4.0
Ease of Use
Editor
Personalization
Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs
List Management
Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process
Deliverability
Reports and Analysis
Languages
Spam- and Design-Testing
Bounce Management
Blocklist
Storage available for data and images Unlimited unlimited
Authentication
Own Domain
Integrations
Landing Page Builder
Customer Support
Prices

Up to 1,000: $0/mo

Up to 2,500: $25/mo

Up to 5,000: $39/mo

Up to 10,000: $73/mo

Up to 20,000: $139/mo

Up to 30,000: $189/mo

Up to 40,000: $249/mo

Up to 50,000: $289/mo

Up to 500: $0/mo

Up to 2,500: $45/mo

Up to 10,000: $110/mo

Up to 20,000: $230/mo

Up to 30,000: $300/mo

Up to 40,000: $340/mo

Up to 50,000: $385/mo

 

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MailerLite vs Mailchimp: Final Thoughts

Mailchimp is a big name in the email marketing world, however, as we’ve just seen, fame isn’t everything.

MailerLite is a top choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t skimp on features. Its prices are much more reasonable than Mailchimp’s and their list management is much less of a headache. We also compared MailerLite to ConvertKit, which was a slam dunk!

Overall, it’s been a close one, but I think this comparison shows that when you actually break everything down, Mailchimp still has some areas to work on if it wants to be the real champ. In fact, there are other tools that make for better MailerLite alternatives. You can find out more about its pros and cons in our Mailchimp review.

Looks like I should definitely consider hopping over to MailerLite when those free credits have been used up!

Oh, and don’t forget, aside from MailerLite, there are plenty of other Mailchimp alternatives to check out. You can see how other popular email marketing platforms compare in the following comparisons:

ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp

Brevo vs Mailchimp

GetResponse vs Mailchimp

ConvertKit vs Mailchimp

Constant Contact vs Mailchimp

Omnisend vs Mailchimp

Leave a comment if you have any questions – I’d be more than happy to help!

Do you want to collect more email subscribers? Check out our guide to email marketing lead generation.

The authors

Learn more about us

Roberta Phillips

Marketing Manager

Hey, I'm Roberta! Having worked as a digital marketer for a host of online businesses, I've tried, tested, fallen in love with and despaired with so many marketing tools. I'm excited to help you find the email marketing and CRM tools you need to thrive.

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.

Learn more about us

We keep our content up to date

14 Jan 2024: Added video review
04 Dec 2023: Automations no longer available in Mailchimp's free plan
13 Jul 2023: Updated email deliverability averages
16 March 2023: Updated Mailchimp's prices
09 March 2023: Updated email deliverability averages
14 Apr 2022: Updated Mailchimp's prices & other small changes
27 Apr 2022: Updated deliverability averages
28 March 2022: Updated pricing section
31 May 2021: Updated automations section
06 Apr 2021: Updated Mailchimp's prices
16 Mar 2021: Updated deliverability section based on the latest round of testing
31 Aug 2020 - Updated the deliverability averages

Our Methodology

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

Our Methodology